New OJ Simpson Documentary Explores 'How America Treats Young Boys': DA | NBC Chicago

New OJ Simpson Documentary Explores 'How America Treats Young Boys': DA

The film, set to air Tuesday, aims to contextualize the trial and Simpson's place in history

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    More than two decades after the murder trial that gripped the nation, O.J. Simpson is back in the spotlight.

    A five-part ESPN documentary beginning Tuesday, "O.J.: Made in America," includes interviews with the case's major players, including former District Attorney Gil Garcetti.

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    Garcetti, who oversaw the trial but declined interviews in the intervening years, said the documentary intrigued him because it was about more than just the trial.

    "It went deeper ... about how America treats young boys who seemingly have this athletic ability and begin to be placed on a pedestal of 'Hey, I am great; I can get away with anything,' and too often they do," Garcetti told NBC's "Today" show on Friday.

    Filmmaker Ezra Edelman appeared alongside Garcetti on "Today."

    "After the acquittal in 1995, we all had OD'd on O.J. and since then we just forgot about him," Edelman told "Today."

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    The documentary gives a window into the trial and its aftermath and aims to contextualize Simpson's acquittal in the killing of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in the history of American race relations.

    Simpson grew up in the housing projects of San Francisco and Edelman said he believes Simpson's complex relationship with the black community began while attending the University of Southern California.

    "It was a white enclave, this bubble next to black Los Angeles and the fact is right there is where he became acculturated," Edelman said.

    After he rose to prominence as a football star, Simpson moved to the upscale neighborhood Bell Air and later Brentwood.

    "Because of his desire for fame that he talked about since he was a kid, that thrust him into the arms of white America," Edelman told "Today."

    Garcetti also clarified remarks made earlier this year that Marcia Clark was not his first choice to lead the Simpson prosecution.

    "I think they did an excellent job," Garcetti said. "Marcia Clark is a fabulous lawyer; Chris Darden is a wonderful, excellent lawyer. Bill Hodgman was the person that I picked, but when he had his heart problem, that's it, here's the team."

    Garcetti said as the trial began he was expecting a hung jury and in an effort to prepare for all possible outcomes he reached out to former President Jimmy Carter for advice.

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    "He said, 'Gil they're coming back not guilty and it's not because he didn't do it, we all know he did it but it's because of the injustice in the black community that's taken place,'" Garcetti said.

    The five-part, 10-hour documentary premieres Saturday on ABC. The full documentary will air on ESPN as part of its "30 for 30" series beginning Tuesday June 14.