TESTIMONY OF LAURA HART McKINNY

 DIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. COCHRAN:
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MR. COCHRAN: Miss McKinny, what is your occupation?
MS. MCKINNY: I'm a filmmaker in residence at the North Carolina school of the arts school of filmmaking, professor of screen writing.
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MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, in that connection, prior to moving to North Carolina, did you live in California?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I did.
MR. COCHRAN: And how long had you lived in California prior to going to North Carolina?
MS. MCKINNY: Since I was twelve.
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MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, when you were last here in California, what was your occupation then?
MS. MCKINNY: I was a freelance writer and I worked at UCLA as a senior learning skills counselor and also at Santa Monica Malibu unified school district as a home instructor.
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MR. COCHRAN: All right. Let's specifically direct you back to February of 1985. And did you have occasion to meet Mark Fuhrman during that time frame?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I did.
MR. COCHRAN: Would you tell the jury where you were at the time that you first met Mark Fuhrman. You might pull the microphone up a little bit closer to you.
MS. MCKINNY: (Witness complies.) All right. I was at a cafe in Westwood. I don't remember the name of the cafe, but I believe it was on Westwood Boulevard.
MR. COCHRAN: And what happened? How did you happen to meet Mr. Fuhrman at that time?
MS. MCKINNY: I was sitting in the outside of the cafe. There were tables on the outside and I was sitting there. I was working on my laptop computer and a man dressed in street clothes came up and asked me about my computer. That was a fairly common thing for people to do then because this was a time when laptops weren't that familiar to people and often people would come and ask me what it was and how you used it. So this man asked me what I was doing and what that was and I explained to him that it was a laptop and explained to him how it worked.
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MR. COCHRAN: Thereafter, during that conversation, did you have occasion to--strike that. Were you working on some particular project at that time?
MS. MCKINNY: At the time--
MR. COCHRAN: At the time when you first met Detective Fuhrman?
MS. MCKINNY: I was transcribing some notes and at the time I was thinking about developing a story about women in the police department and to what extent they were successful in different--different kind of areas. I was thinking of particular areas of high crime.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, after you first met Mark Fuhrman in February of 1985 did you thereafter have further meetings with him?
MS. MCKINNY: (No audible response.)
MR. COCHRAN:  After your initial meeting in February of 1985?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I did.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. Tell us about those meetings. And did you at some point engage him as a consultant or an advisor for a screenplay you were working on?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I did.
MR. COCHRAN: Tell us about that.
MS. MCKINNY: During our first meeting Officer Fuhrman at that time told me he was an officer, and he was interested in my idea of working on a story about women in--on the police department, and the extent to which they could succeed in areas of high crime. Officer Fuhrman had very strong views about the extent to which women--some women--
MR. DARDEN: Objection. That is a narrative.
THE COURT: Next question.
MR. COCHRAN: Well, did Officer Fuhrman have views about the ability of women to succeed in high crime areas?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, he did.
MR. COCHRAN: What were his views in that regard?
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MS. MCKINNY: He had strong views about women's ability to be able to succeed in areas of high crime, feeling that some of them were not capable of that, and during this particular first meeting he told me that he wouldó
MR. DARDEN: Objection, hearsay.
THE COURT: Sustained. Next question.
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MR. COCHRAN: Did you, at or during that first meeting, make some arrangements to meet further with Mr. Fuhrman regarding his views and whether or not he could help you with interviews that you might want to conduct?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. Well, tell us about what you did in that connection. Did you retain him at some point?
MS. MCKINNY: I didn't retain him. I asked him if he would be interested in helping me give some ideas, some personal views that might help generate some thoughts about characters and police procedures and other areas that might be useful to me in helping understand the kind of frustrations that men had on the police department and women and possibly some of the cover-ups that might occur in conjunction with that. And he agreed to help me to that extent and give me some of his personal views, some ideas that he might have, and so we agreed to meet again and tape the interviews.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. And you told him you wanted to tape the interviews that you conducted with him, did you?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: Now, these interviews that you had with Detective Fuhrman, were all of those interviews taped, as best you can recall?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: And tell the ladies and gentlemen of the jury over what period of time did you conduct these taped interviews with Mark Fuhrman after your initial meeting with him in February of 1985?
MS. MCKINNY: Approximately from the beginning of April, April 2nd, I believe, through July, 1994.
MR. COCHRAN: So over almost a ten-year period of time you had taped interviews with this man; is that correct?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: Now, in that connection, before you started taping these interviews, did Detective Fuhrman know that you were taping these interviews?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: What did you tell him about the conversation or the kind of things you wanted him to share with you regarding police work?
MR. DARDEN: Also calls for hearsay.
THE COURT: Overruled. You can answer the question.
MS. MCKINNY: I told him that I wanted to write a fictional piece based on fact, so it was very important to me that I had a really clear idea of what some police officers would say in a given situation, so that the instances that he would give me would be as factual and realistic as possible.
MR. COCHRAN: You asked him to be factual and realistic, did you?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, with regard to the taped interviews, over the ten-year period that we have been talking about, do you remember how many tapes you actually transcribed over that period of time?
MS. MCKINNY: Again please. How many types I transcribed?
MR. COCHRAN: How many tapes were actually transcribed? Over the ten-year period how many hours?
MS. MCKINNY: Oh, eleven to twelve hours of tape.
MR. COCHRAN: And I presume during those eleven to twelve hours you tried to be as accurate as possible, right?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: Now, during the time that you talked with Mr. Fuhrman during this ten-year period of time, did he ever use a racial epithet which I will call the "N" word, during the course of your conversations with him?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, he did.
MR. COCHRAN: And in the course of your preparation of your testimony here today can you tell the jury how many times you counted that he used that word?
MS. MCKINNY: Approximately 42.
MR. COCHRAN: 42 times?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: Can you describe for the jury under what circumstances he would use this so-called "N" word? Was he talking about?
MS. MCKINNY: Police procedures.
MR. COCHRAN: What was he talking about?
MS. MCKINNY: Let me see. The word would come up in conversation when he might be talking about how an officer might deal with a suspect or a police procedural issue or how an officer might be talking about someone in administration, just general normal language.
THE COURT: Next question.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. When you would hear these words of this particular epithet, would that have an effect upon you.
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MS. MCKINNY: It is a base epithet. There is no way of doctoring it up and making it sound better. It is offensive and I didn't feel good about it, hearing it; however, I was in very much of a journalistic mode and knew to be able to get the information that I needed, to be able to inquire from Officer Fuhrman, I would need to not react, not to be judgmental about hearing some of the very base offensive kinds of things that I would be hearing.
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MR. COCHRAN: Did you say anything to him about using these words at that time?
MS. MCKINNY: No, I did not.
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 MR. COCHRAN: Yes. During the 41 or 42 times that Mr. Fuhrman used the word "Nigger" did you--could you tell us how he appeared as he did that?
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MS. MCKINNY: When Officer Fuhrman used the word "Nigger" it was in a very casual ordinary pattern of speech. It was nothing extraordinary. It was just conversation.
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MR. COCHRAN: With regard to this first instance that we are going to be seeing shortly, can you give us some background? I will use--I will use the--I will read it, your Honor, and ask her to give us some background regarding this. In this particular one, I believe this is one where it was taped over and we have just a transcript; is that correct?
MS. MCKINNY: That's correct.
MR. COCHRAN: And the quote by Fuhrman is, "We have no niggers where I grew up." Do you recall him saying that?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: Is that a fair and accurate portrayal of what he said?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
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MR. COCHRAN: And with regard to that particular one, about having no African Americans where he grew up, can you compare that with the other 42 others, from the standpoint of how he used that word in that compared to the others?
MR. DARDEN: Objection, that is irrelevant.
THE COURT: It is a vague question as well and I don't know that anybody can really answer that question.
MR. COCHRAN: Let me try again.
THE COURT: Rephrase the question.
MR. COCHRAN: Okay.
MR. COCHRAN: With regard to this instance where "We have no blank where I grew up," do you have that in mind?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: Can you compare that with the other 42 times or so that he used this in the course of your interviews, if there is any difference between how he used the term there and the other 42 times or so?
MR. DARDEN: Objection, misstates the testimony. Speculation, no foundation.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. COCHRAN: You may answer.
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, there is a significance difference here. This particular example is the least offensive and inflammatory in comparison to the others.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, with regard to--
THE COURT: All right. I'm going to strike that answer. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a judgment that is not--at this point in time you are to disregard that last question and answer. Next question.
MR. COCHRAN: All right, your Honor.
MR. COCHRAN: With regard to--let's move down to the second incident we have been allowed to use for Fuhrman speaking, "They don't do anything, they don't go out there and initiate a contact with some six-foot-five inch Nigger that has been in prison for seven years pumping weights." Do you recall Mr. Fuhrman saying that to you at some point?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, however I believe--
MR. DARDEN: Objection, asked and answered.
THE COURT: Next question.
MR. COCHRAN: You do recall that and that is on tape, is it not?
MS. MCKINNY: Excuse me.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. I understand. Let me just look at my question.
THE COURT: Hold on.
MR. COCHRAN: Do you recall that being said, Miss McKinny?
MS. MCKINNY: I recall that being said, yes.
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(A videotape and audiotape were played.)
MR. COCHRAN: Do you recognize the voice of the person who was saying, "They don't do anything. They don't go out there and initiate a contact with some six-foot-five-inch Nigger that has been in prison for seven years pumping weights"? Who said that?
MS. MCKINNY: Officer Mark Fuhrman.
MR. COCHRAN: When did he say that?
MS. MCKINNY:  In April or early May of 1985.
MR. COCHRAN: And that was his voice; is that right?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: No doubt about it?
MS. MCKINNY: No doubt about it.
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MR. COCHRAN: All right. Now, in these interviews that you conducted with Mr. Fuhrman did you ever at any time ask him to embellish or enhance what he was telling you.
MR. DARDEN: Objection, vague.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MS. MCKINNY: No.
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CROSS-EXAMINATION BY MR. DARDEN
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MR. DARDEN: Have you been attempting to sell any audiotapes other than the Fuhrman audiotapes?
MS. MCKINNY: No.
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MR. DARDEN: Did you authorize your attorneys to sell the transcript?
MS. MCKINNY: No.
MR. DARDEN: Did you authorize them to sell the audiotapes?
MS. MCKINNY: No.
MR. DARDEN: Have you ever discussed with anyone selling the audiotapes for one-half million dollars?
MS. MCKINNY: Have I discussed that with anyone?
MR. DARDEN: Yes.
MS. MCKINNY: No, I have not discussed it with anyone.
MR. DARDEN: Have you also given--given your attorneys the authority to negotiate for the sale of the Fuhrman tapes?
MS. MCKINNY: I have authorized my attorneys to determine the value of the tapes, yes.
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MR. DARDEN: If you weren't interested in selling the tapes, why did you have your attorneys contact a publisher?
MS. MCKINNY: It is more to know what the value of the tapes were and I authorized my attorneys to do that.
MR. DARDEN: And that is because you were considering selling the tapes at the time?
MS. MCKINNY: No. I wanted to know what the value of the tapes were and my attorneys advised me that it was in my best interests and they would be negligent as attorneys if they didn't let me know exactly what the value--market value of the tapes and/or the transcripts would be.
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MR. DARDEN: Was it your testimony yesterday that you were offended when you heard Mark Fuhrman use that epithet?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. DARDEN: Now, when you met with Miss Clark and Miss Lewis and Mr. Hodgman and myself on August 17, do you recall me asking you what you thought or what came to mind when you first heard Fuhrman use that epithet?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I do.
MR. DARDEN: And you told me that nothing came to mind; is that correct?
MS. MCKINNY: That's correct, that I couldn't remember anything coming to mind the first time. Your question was what came to mind the first time you heard that word, I believe.
MR. DARDEN: But you don't remember what came to mind at the time?
MS. MCKINNY: No. That would have been about ten years ago. I could not remember the first time I heard that word used what came to my mind.
MR. DARDEN: You don't remember a white police officer using this epithet in your presence and your not being offended by it?
MR. COCHRAN: Object to the form of that question and the tone of the voice.
THE COURT: Sustained. It is argumentative.
MR. DARDEN: You understand that that word is the most vile word in the English language?
MS. MCKINNY: I think it is one of the most vile words in the English language, yes.
MR. DARDEN: You think there are worse?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I certainly do. Why are we having this adversarial relationship? I don't understand that. It is a vile word. Why do I have to define it more so than it is?
MR. DARDEN: You wrote a screenplay, right?
MS. MCKINNY: That is accurate.
MR. DARDEN: Did you use that word in the screenplay?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. DARDEN: Did you attempt to out and sell that screenplay?
MS. MCKINNY: Certainly.
MR. DARDEN: You are using that word in your screenplay to help make money, right?
MR. COCHRAN: Object to the form of that question, your Honor. That is argumentative.
THE COURT: Sustained. Sustained.
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MR. DARDEN: You have had one screenplay published or made into a film?
MS. MCKINNY: Have I had one screenplay made into a film?
MR. DARDEN: Yes.
MS. MCKINNY: No.
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MR. DARDEN: When Mark Fuhrman used these words in your presence why didn't you just tell him to stop?
MR. COCHRAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of that question. I object to the form of that question.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. COCHRAN: Argumentative.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MS. MCKINNY: For the same reason I didn't tell him to stop when he told me of police procedures, cover-ups, other information that I felt were important for me to have a clear understanding in context of this material that I was writing. He told me many things that I thought were important for me to understand, many things I hadn't been aware of, as did other officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, as did many of the other interviews that I did and ride-alongs I went on. I was in a journalistic mode. I was not judgmental. And I needed that information to help me write a more realistic journalistic piece and I did not ask him to stop using the type of normal ordinary language he would use or other officers would use. I needed to know how he would speak.
MR. DARDEN: You told us yesterday that there was no racial subplot to the screenplay you were planning to write, correct?
MS. MCKINNY: That is accurate.
MR. DARDEN: And yet you use this epithet in your screenplay anyway; is that also correct?
MS. MCKINNY: That is true.
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MR. DARDEN: Okay. Now, you asked a moment ago why we are involved in some adversarial relationship. Do you recall asking that?
MS. MCKINNY: I felt that you were. I don't feel adversarial toward you, but I felt that there was something negative coming from some of your questions, yes.
MR. DARDEN: Okay. You didn't stop him the first time he used the epithet, correct?
MR. COCHRAN: Your Honor, that has be asked and answered.
THE COURT: It has.
MR. DARDEN: Well, you didn't stop him the twentieth time he used the epithet?
MR. COCHRAN: Asked and answered.
THE COURT: That has not. Overruled.
MR. DARDEN: Correct?
MS. MCKINNY: That's correct.
MR. DARDEN: You didn't stop him the fortieth or forty-second time that he used the epithet, correct?
MS. MCKINNY: I didn't abridge his dialogue or conversation during an interview, no.
MR. DARDEN: Given the fact that you have included this epithet in your screenplay, do you feel that it is appropriate under some circumstances to utter or use this word?
MR. COCHRAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of this. Object to the form of that question.
THE COURT: Overruled. Overruled.
MS. MCKINNY: Do I personally feel it is appropriate?
MR. DARDEN: Yes.
MS. MCKINNY: No, I don't.
MR. DARDEN: Why then include it in a screenplay, a screenplay that you intend to make into a movie?
MS. MCKINNY: Because it is reflective of particular officers or officer's dialogue, feelings at a particular time. It is representative of what would be said.
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REDIRECT EXAMINATION BY MR. COCHRAN
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MR. COCHRAN: The fact that Mark Fuhrman used the "N" word more than 42 times--
MR. DARDEN: Objection. That misstates the testimony.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MR. COCHRAN: --did that make you agree with him when he was using those words?
MS. MCKINNY: (No audible response.)
MR. COCHRAN: Did you agree with him when he was using those words in that base, vile manner?
MS. MCKINNY: Of course not.
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MR. COCHRAN: And so when these words, these vile insulting words came up, you weren't saying these words, were you?
MS. MCKINNY: No.
MR. COCHRAN: Who was saying these words?
MS. MCKINNY: Officer Fuhrman.
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MR. COCHRAN: Now, ma'am, with regard to your coming to California, did you voluntarily come out here and bring your tapes and transcripts out here so you could come to California and testify?
MS. MCKINNY: No, sir, I was subpoenaed by the court.
MR. COCHRAN: All right. And when you were subpoenaed by a subpoena issued by Judge Ito and this court, did you resist and fight that subpoena?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes, I did.
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MR. COCHRAN: Now, Mr. Darden asked you a lot of questions about why you didn't stop Mark Fuhrman from using this "N" word or whatever. Do you recall those questions?
MS. MCKINNY: Yes.
MR. COCHRAN: And is there any doubt in your mind now as you sit here that Mark Fuhrman used this horrible word 41 or more times during the time that you were talking to him? Any doubt in your mind at all?
MR. DARDEN: Misstates the testimony.
THE COURT: Overruled.
MS. MCKINNY: No.
MR. COCHRAN: And those were his words coming from his mouth; is that right?
MS. MCKINNY: That's correct.
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