Detective Mark Fuhrman Bureau of Parking Enforcement


I’ve got a neighbor who recently showed up with this minivan. Some afternoons, he double-parks it on the street and just leaves it for hours. Yesterday, he attempted to parallel park it. Nice try.

[The Detective Mark Fuhrman Bureau of Parking Enforcement: Dedicated to the proposition that no vehicle should be parked strangely. Details on the DMFBPE after the jump.]

The Detective Mark Fuhrman Bureau of Parking Enforcement: Dedicated to the proposition that no vehicle should be parked strangely.

What everyone remembers about the O.J. Simpson trial is how it turned out. What I remember is that, to listen to a Los Angeles police detective tell it, the chain of events that led to the search of Simpson’s residence, the discovery of the bloody glove, et cetera, et cetera, began with his observation of a sloppily parked car.

Detective Mark Fuhrman was one of a group of L.A. cops who went to Simpson’s home in Beverly Hills the morning of June 13, 1994, ostensibly to inform the former football star that his estranged wife had been found murdered. On the street outside the Simpson compound, Fuhrman spotted something that told him something was amiss.

As Fuhrman testified in a preliminary hearing in the case on July 5, 1994:

I … went toward the white vehicle that we previously saw when we drove up Rockingham. I was walking toward the vehicle, the Bronco, and I noticed that the vehicle was parked rather strangely. It was — it looked like it was parked in a very haphazard manner. The rear end was kicked out a little bit toward the street. The front end was real close to the curb with the tires turned into the curb.

On cross-examination the next day, defense attorney Gerald Uelmen asked Fuhrman about how the Bronco was parked:

Uelmen: Now, you indicated yesterday that one of the reasons that your attention was drawn to the white Bronco was because it was parked “rather strangely,” I believe is the quote?

Fuhrman: When I was walking towards it, the front of the truck was facing my direction of travel; and it just looked — it just looked a little strange the way it was parked. …

Uelmen then produced police photos of the scene, which showed the Bronco parked — well, the way most people might park it. Most people, but not Fuhrman, who is on record as perhaps the most fastidious parallel parker in U.S. law enforcement history. Here’s his narration of one of the police photos:

As you can see here in photo 4, the right tire is about 4 inches onto the concrete part of the asphalt roadway; where the rear tire is completely on the asphalt, with a couple inches to spare. And that’s what I’m talking about. It looked like it wasn’t casually parked or carefully parked. It wouldn’t be how I would probably park my vehicle.

Fuhrman “walked up on” the car. He reported seeing what might have been blood on the driver’s side door. Soon, he was up and over the fence outside the Simpson place and walking into his memorable role in the lore of American crime detection. He didn’t get his man on the murder charge; but his eagle eye for haphazard parking is a legacy that ought not be forgotten.

2 Replies to “Detective Mark Fuhrman Bureau of Parking Enforcement”

  1. Do you seriously expect me to believe that picture is not staged? C’mon, man. Nobody parks that badly–and walks away without trying to fix it!

  2. They do on Holly Street. This is only the third- or fourth-worst parking job I’ve ever seen on my block. My neighbor’s mother is the Fuhrman champion: She once left her car at a 45-degree angle to the curb and a couple feet away from it so that she was effectively blocking a whole lane. Oh, and she left the driver’s side door open; seems she thought she’d just run in and drop something off — no need to be too precise in parking the Honda in that case — then wound up staying until I called next door to see what was up with the abandoned car.

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