Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Simpson Case Prosecutor Orders Police to Shut Up

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Simpson Case Prosecutor Orders Police to Shut Up

Article excerpt

District Attorney Gil Garcetti, the chief prosecutor in the double murder case against O.J. Simpson, criticized the Los Angeles city attorney Thursday for authorizing the release of police 911 recordings on which Simpson is heard screaming and cursing his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

"I do not want this case tried in the media, and that's why we have stayed away from discussing the facts," Garcetti said in announcing a clampdown on information "in the interest of justice."

The Los Angeles Police Department said that henceforth it would curtail comments on the case. But as officials scrambled to control the flood of pretrial publicity, law enforcement sources detailed a 1985 incident in which Simpson shattered the windshield of his car with a baseball bat.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the sources said police responding to the call encountered an agitated Simpson who told them "It's my car, I'll handle this. There is no problem here."

The sources told the Times that Nicole Simpson, as she had after the October 1993 incident chronicled in graphic police audio tapes released Wednesday, declined to move forward with charges against Simpson, so officers left.

At the request of prosecutors, a judge sealed police affidavits that were used to obtain search warrants after the slayings of Nicole Simpson and a friend, Ronald Goldman, the night of June 12. Such documents contain detailed accounts of what police are looking for and reports from people questioned by police. The affidavits were sealed indefinitely.

The city attorney, James K. Hahn, refused to comment on Garcetti's criticism. But his spokesman, Mike Qualls, defended the release of the 911 tapes, saying the action had been taken under the provisions of the public records law.

"Now the situation has changed because the district attorney is concerned that any further release will harm his case," Qualls said. …

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