"Out of the Half-Light"
L&O, Episode 1.11
Production number: 66202
First aired: 11 December 1990
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Greevey Out of the Half-Light
Written By
Michael Duggan

Directed By
E.W. Swackhamer

Max Greevey and Mike Logan's investigation into a black teenager's claim that she was raped by white policemen is hampered by a publicity hungry, black politician who will not grant the detectives access to the victim.


A 16-year-old African-American girl claims that two white policemen raped her. Greevey and Logan's investigation causes difficulty for the accuser, while Stone and Robinette discover the truth about the young girl's allegations, which proves difficult when an African-American Congressman puts the spin machine in full overdrive, using the girl's allegations to discredit white policemen and turn her into a martyr.


Main cast

Recurring cast

Guest cast




"You think I sold out?"
"Does it matter what I think? If it does I'll tell you, but it's something you got to decide for yourself."
"You got a 'shave yourself in the morning' speech?"
"Maybe. Do you think of yourself as a black lawyer, or a lawyer who's black?"
"Depends on the context."
"You make a decision based on something from within. You live with it, you examine it, it’s all you got."
"You think by morning I'll come to love it?"
"No, but I don't think you'll have any problem with the guy in the mirror. See you tomorrow."

- Paul Robinette and Benjamin Stone

"You look me in the eye and you tell me this system is just. This system is equal."
"At times the system stinks, Eaton. I know that as well as you do. But don’t for one damn minute tell me that your self-aggrandizing polarization is going to solve the problem. Don’t tell me that tearing down a 200-year old justice system, no matter how flawed, is going to alter the consciousness of a society. Now, we’re past the separate drinking-fountain stage. We’re past legal discrimination. We’re at the hearts and minds stage. And believe me, there’s no quick fix."

- Ronald Eaton and Paul Robinette

"Another zombified soul casts his vote for order rather than justice. Negative peace over positive peace."
"Paraphrazing Martin Luther King's thoughts won't lend credence to yours. King walked with the'd slide in slime on your belly to get what you want."

- Ronald Eaton and Paul Robinette

Background information and notes

  • This episode was based on the Tawana Brawley case. In 1987, at age 15, in the small town of Wappingers Falls Tawana Brawley, a teenage African American girl from upstate New York was found beaten, her clothes tattered, and racial epithets written all over her body. She stated that she had been raped, despite there being no DNA evidence. She then received national media attention in the US for accusing six prominent white men from her town, including police officers of gang rape. After hearing evidence, a grand jury concluded in October 1988 that Brawley had not been the victim of a forcible sexual assault and that she herself may have created the appearance of an attack. It was inevitably revealed that the whole thing had been a hoax, however Brawley's family has maintained that the allegations were true.(Source: Tawana Brawley rape allegations at Wikipedia)

Episode scene cards

1 2 3 4

Thomas E Dewey
Housing Project
Thursday,October 5

103rd and
Amsterdam Ave.
Monday,October 9

Grand Jury RM.
New York County
Wednesday,January 3

Crawford Apartment
805W.112th St.
Thursday,January 11

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"Prisoner of Love"
"Out of the Half-Light"
Law & Order
Season 1
Next episode:
"Life Choice"
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