Simpson Arrest Stirs Debate over Celebrity Justice

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Author and political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson discusses his recent article, "Do the Police Have It Out for O.J.?" Simpson was recently arrested in Las Vegas for an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, political analyst; author of Beyond O.J.: Race, Sex and Class Lessons for America

O.J. Simpson Arrested

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Former football star O.J. Simpson is being held without bail in Las Vegas on charges related to an alleged armed robbery of sports memorabilia.

Las Vegas police arrested Simpson in his hotel room, saying he was part of an armed group that burst into a room at another hotel Thursday night to steal thousands of dollars worth of collectibles. He is scheduled for an arraignment and bond hearing on Wednesday morning.

Las Vegas police Lt. Clint Nichols said Simpson was charged with robbery with a deadly weapon, assault with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit a crime and burglary with a firearm.

"It was a lot of sports memorabilia and most of it had been signed by Mr. Simpson himself, along with some other property," said Nichols. "I believe there were some Joe Montana cleats and signed baseballs and other stuff."

Simpson's golfing buddy, Walter Alexander, was also arrested and charged over the weekend, Nichols said.

Police said they were with four others during the robbery at the Palace Station casino hotel.

"We don't believe anyone was roughed up, but there were firearms involved in the commission of the robbery," he said.

Nichols said the guns were pointed at people who were being robbed.

Before his arrest, Simpson spoke to several reporters, including those at The Associated Press. He explained that he was part of a "sting operation" to retrieve items that belonged to him.

The former NFL star and actor has been living in Miami since being acquitted of murder charges in the killings of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman.

In a wrongful death lawsuit, Simpson was ordered to pay $33.5 million dollars to the Goldman family, and he has since auctioned off many of his sports collectables.

Collector Alfred Beardsley says Simpson has wanted those items back for a long time. The former athlete has never been able to retrieve the items legally, so he came with his buddies to get them from him in Las Vegas.

"Simpson, when he entered the room, he was pumped up. He was angry. He was ready for action," Beardsley said in an interview about the alleged robbery to the celebrity news service

"It was a strong arm robbery type situation. Then, we were directed at gunpoint to pack the items up in the condition they were in. I did not do that, and Simpson's thugs packed the items themselves," he said.

Simpson is now being held without bail and is due in court on Thursday.

If the 60-year-old is eventually convicted of the charges, the Clark County district attorney said he could be facing up to 30 years in state prison on each robbery count.



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