L&O, Episode 3.02
Production number: 68006
First aired: 30 September 1992
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Gary Lowenthal
Written By
René Balcer & Michael S. Chernuchin

Directed By
Ed Sherin


After the leader of a black organization is killed, identifications lead to the arrest of a teacher.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast



The jury in Los Angeles delivered us a clear message. Black people are on their own! No justice except for what we do for ourselves. No prosperity, except what we create with our own hands! Well, I'm here to tell you that I welcome that message. Because we, as a people, are not without resources! The Jews did for their own. The Koreans do for their own. Now is the time to do for our own! Anger is a force for change, but not if it blinds us! The road ahead is filled with distractions! Hate for the white man is a distraction, and we are better than that! And I... I am here to tell you... Believe me, brothers and sisters, we will have the last word!

–Marcus Tate

They all have one thing in common. "White, white, very white". Tells you something.

–Mike Logan

I read the papers, I know their politics, and they're freaking racists.

–Mike Logan

Phil Cerreta: Tate's wife was there, bodyguards.
Mike Logan: Well, unless Phil and I change our racial persuasion, nobody's talking to us.

Phil Cerreta: What did this guy look like?
Otis Cooke: Brown hair. About 35, 40.
Mike Logan: You ever seen him before?
Otis Cooke: Hey, I don't know. All you white boys look like.

Phil Cerreta: A lone gunman? High-profile target? You don't just get up one day and go shoot a public figure.
Mike Logan: You stalk him. Look for a chink in his armor.

Background information and notes

  • The episode is based on a number of high-profile assassinations over the years, including:
    • Two separate assassinations involving the Black civil rights movement leaders Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X.
      • Martin Luther King died on April 4, 1968, after being shot and killed by James Earl Ray. King was 39 and left behind a widow and four children. Ray was a fugitive from the Missouri State Penitentiary. He was eventually arrested on June 8, 1968, in London at Heathrow Airport and extradited to the United States to be charged with the crime. On March 10, 1969, he entered a guilty plea and was sentenced to 99 years in the Tennessee State Penitentiary. He later made many attempts to withdraw his guilty plea and be tried by a jury, but was unsuccessful; he died in prison on April 23, 1998, at the age of 70. (Source: Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. at Wikipedia)
      • Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) was assassinated on February 21, 1965, at the age of 39. He was about to address his followers in New York when three gunmen (Thomas Hagan, Norman Butler, and Thomas Johnson) rushed the stage and fired at him. Hagan was beaten by the crowd, whilst Butler and Johnson were eventually found by the police. All three were convicted of murder in March 1966 and sentenced to life in prison. (Source: Assassination of Malcolm X at Wikipedia)
    • The assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy.
    • The murder of John Lennon committed by Mark David Chapman.
    • The Huey Long assassination allegedly committed by Carl Weiss.
    • Arthur Bremer's assassination attempts.
  • Director of photographer Constantine Makris received an Emmy Award in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Cinematography for a Series for this episode. He received the same award for his work on the episodes "Mad Dog" and "Stalker".
  • Director Ed Sherin was nominated for the same award in the category Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Drama Series.
  • This episode won the 1993 Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Episode in a TV Series.
  • Goof: Ben Hammer is credited as "Judge Cornell" but the nameplate shown lists his character's name as Herman Mooney.
  • Goof: Victor Truro is credited as "Judge Spivack" but the nameplate shown lists his character's name as "Douglas Spivak".

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

African American
92 Lenox Avenue
Tuesday, July 28

Amhest Club Library
16 West 44th Street
Monday, August 3

33rd Precinct
Interrogation Room
Wednesday, August 5

4 5

Supreme Court
Trial Part 46
Tuesday, September 22

Office Of District
Attorney Adam Schiff
Monday, November 2

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