Did Mark Fuhrman Really Write "KKK" On An MLK Jr. Poster? 'American Crime Story' References The Allegation
In the March 29 episode of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, the Fuhrman Tapes will be placed front and center. Screenwriter Laura Hart McKinny, who had taped an interview with Fuhrman as background for a screenplay she was writing about women's experience in the police force, turned over the tapes and transcripts after being subpoenaed by Simpson's defense attorneys. There's no shortage of disturbing and upsetting content on the Fuhrman Tapes — the detective's speech is peppered with racial slurs and he boasts of alleged police misconduct and planting evidence. Tuesday's episode will raise another allegation — did Fuhrman really write "KKK" on a poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. while he was working as a cop?
The prosecution was thrown a major curveball when the Fuhrman Tapes surfaced. They held concrete evidence that the LAPD detective had perjured himself during prior testimony when he denied using the n-word at any point during the past 10 years. Since Fuhrman discovered the bloody glove and the defense's argument hinged on the idea that Simpson had been framed by the LAPD, the tapes were a major blow to the state's case. Furthermore, a potential conflict of interest arose when Marcia Clark realized that Fuhrman disparaged Margaret York, the wife of Judge Lance Ito, on the tapes, as reported by The Seattle Times.
In American Crime Story, Clark (Sarah Paulson) and her boss Gil Garcetti (Bruce Greenwood) listen to the tapes and discuss Fuhrman's (Steven Pasquale) "hatred" of York. They also reference an incident where York reprimanded the detective for allegedly writing "KKK" on a poster of Martin Luther King, Jr. It's unclear whether or not Fuhrman spoke about the poster with McKinny, but he did claim after the trial that York had accused him of vandalizing the poster.
When the Fuhrman Tapes surfaced, it became a possibility that York would be called as a material witness, causing Ito to be disqualified, as reported by The Los Angeles Times. Ultimately, York was not called as a witness and Ito remained on the case, so the alleged vandalized poster was never addressed in court. York has not spoken publicly about the incident, but Fuhrman wrote about it in his book Murder in Brentwood and he vehemently denies the allegation.
According to the former detective, the alleged KKK incident in question occurred on New Year's Eve 1986 when York was acting captain. A birthday flyer of Martin Luther King, Jr. had been defaced with "KKK" and Fuhrman alleges that, while York was speaking about the vandalism, he tried to ignore her and instead joked around with a fellow detective. He claims York misinterpreted his laughter and then accused him of writing "KKK" on the poster in question.
Fuhrman went on to allege that York ordered him to sign a comment card insinuating that he was the vandal. He wrote in his book:
I could not contain my anger.
"Not only will I not sign it, I won't even acknowledge it or you," I said. "I don't go around writing on posters or walls. You're way off base."
After that, I walked out of the captain's office without a dismissal and went on to do my job.
Fuhrman's narrative then abruptly jumps forward and he doesn't explain how the vandalism allegation resolved itself. Since no one else has come forward about the incident, the claim has not been proven.
The Spokesman Review reported via the Associated Press in 1994 that York had conflicting statements on her relationship with Fuhrman. She said she had no disagreements with him, but a statement from her lawyer said: "They had some disagreements. Mark and she did not see eye to eye."