Las Vegas — News conferences, a slew of felony charges, a perp walk in handcuffs and detention in a holding cell without bail - it's clear authorities aren't giving O.J. Simpson any celebrity breaks.
Police insist such treatment is prudent for a man whose name is synonymous with a slow-speed chase from officers in a white Ford Bronco. But legal experts are questioning whether Simpson is being singled out for extra-tough prosecution in his casino-hotel robbery case as payback for his murder acquittal more than a decade ago.
"It is regrettable that America has not gotten over the O.J. Simpson criminal case," said Carl Douglas, who was co-counsel with Johnnie L. Cochran in Simpson's 1995 criminal trial.
"The fact that he is being held without bail seems unfair and over the top," Douglas said. "O.J. has always been able to satisfy his obligations to the court. He cooperated with the authorities in this case. He is not a flight risk. And he certainly can't hide anywhere."
At least six plainclothes policemen, accompanied by a handful of hotel security guards, arrested Simpson on Sunday at The Palms casino-hotel. He was accused of leading an armed heist of sports memorabilia. Simpson said he was only reclaiming possessions that had been stolen.
"By our standard, there was no major show of force," Sgt. John Loretto said.