Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Juice is Loose

Well Compnay, today is a very special day. Very very special. So special that I went ahead and gave you two tasty blog posts today just so we could talk about it. Yet, it's not special enough so that I remembered it until I happened to read about it this morning. What today is, my friends, is June 17, the anniversary of the most ridiculous car chase in the history of man. And by that, I mean the O.J. Simpson case.

Ahh yes, the white Bronco, Al Cowlings, A.C., and the LAPD. Oh, and every media outlet known to man. A lot of people forget that they were a part of this thing too. It was really a startling event that I, unfortunately, was too young to fully understand at the time. I remember standing in the living room at my parents' house and leaning on the back of the recliner and watching the whole thing unfolding, but that's about all I remember. That being said, with hind sight being what it is (it's never 20/20, I firmly believe this; it might be something close to 20/20 but it is always a little skewed somehow, but that's for another day) and with a few years of age and wisdom and experience piled on top of the whole thing the whole incident amazes and confounds me even more. So let's talk about it.

First of all, and on a little bit of a strange note, I am a little surprised the O.J. Simpson was driving a relatively innocuous white Ford Bronco. I don't know. Maybe I am a little jaded by today's atheletes who have the most expensive vehicles one can buy, all of which are modified in some way, shape, or form, but I would have though that at least O.J. had the damn thing done up by a conversion company on the inside. But in all the blood photos and whatnot it looked like it was pretty much stock; like something you or I might be driving around. Blows my mind to this day.

The second thing that I always sort of notice about this whole thing is that this was not a chase, this was a parade. No one was really being chased, it was like a strange Quentin Tarrantino-style parade made up of a single white Bronco, about a dozen LAPD cars, and I think maybe Erik Estrada and John Baker were out there on their CHiPs motorcycles as well, and more media than you can shake a stick at. I mean, think about it like this: it met all the parade criteria. They closed off the road for it. There were civic institutions represented, a la the police department. There was extensive media coverage, which is normal for parades in big cities. And there were people lined up all along the street to watch it go by. Sounds an awful lot like a parade.

I think the thing that really bugs me about this, aside from the supposed police corruption and the death of two people while their kids are sleeping upstairs, was how much latitiude O.J. and his cronies were given regarding this whole thing. First of all, no one was ever charged in the whole chase. Seriously. And so many laws were broken. First of all, if O.J. ever pointed the gun at anyone, AC, the cops, out the window, that is a crime. All AC ever said was that he was pointing it at his own head. Second of all, evading an officer and resisting arrest is a crime. Both of those things are separate offenses. So, how come those were never heaped on there? I am thinking the Marcia Clark and that other guy, Chris Darden, kind of dropped the ball on that one. If I were them, which I am most admitedly not, I would have applied the Al Capone theory to this case: if you can't get Simpson for murder, get him for everything and anything else that you can. It's just another example of the extraordinary special treatment that O.J. got from the LAPD during this whole thing. Any other schmoe wouldn't have been able to strike a deal as to when they were going to turn themselves in, like O.J. did. Any other schmoe, had they struck that deal and then not shown up, like O.J. did, would have been hunted down. Any other schmoe, had they led the LAPD on a chase, like O.J. did, would have had spike strips laid down so fast it would have made your head spin. Or the police would have done some sort of manoeuver on them. No one in the general public, not you or I or your mother unless you are Gweneth Paltrow's kid, would receive the kind of slack and co-operation from the police that O.J. did. And I don't think that he would have gotten that out of Los Angeles, either.

And so it goes. That's all in the past; hard to believe that it is 15 years in the past already. 15 years and it becomes more of a farce with every passing day. The biggest trial of the century until the next one comes along. And certinaly stranger than fiction. I don't think that even the great crime novelists could have come up with something like that. So anyway, pull out your leather gloves, tell everyone that if it doesn't fit you must acquit, and have a good old time. Maybe you can lead the police on a 35 mph chase around the freeway.

No comments: