L&O, Episode 9.11
Production number: E0211
First aired: 13 January 1999
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Briscoe Ramparts
Written By
Lynne E. Litt & Kathy McCormick

Directed By
Matthew Penn


A police-department cover-up stymies the prosecution of a 30-year-old murder case involving a college protester and a security guard.


Main cast

Guest cast



Carmichael: The state has every right to take action against terrorists.
McCoy: Activists aren't terrorists!

McCoy: I've cut you a lot of slack on this because you don't know a damn thing about the 60s. You weren't even born.
Carmichael: I was born when the World Trade Center was bombed and the cops wouldn't have caught those people without undercover work.
McCoy: I'm not saying it's never justified.

If bringing a cop killer to justice isn't reason enough for Mr. Kushner, I don't know what would be. If the police department doesn't want to be embarrassed by revelations about its behavior, then maybe it shouldn't behave badly. The police stalked, harassed and mistreated ordinary citizens whose political opinions they didn't like. Is this acceptable in a democracy? Is this acceptable in a society founded on freedom of thought and speech? Can our society survive secret police monitoring of law-abiding people who question government policy? The files I'm requesting...may be shaming to the department but they're not privileged, they're not protected. They're not sheltered by any conceivable argument Mr. Kushner can come up with.

Jack McCoy

There may be compelling reasons for the police department to keep certain files confidential... at least for a time. But governmental secrecy is anathema to democracy and must be motivated by more than a desire to avoid embarrassment and controversy.

–Judge Lisa Pongracic

Background information and notes

  • This episode appears to have been mainly based off of the Handschu agreement, the result of a class-action lawsuit filed by Barbara Handschu and other activists against the City of New York, its commissioner, and the New York City Police Department's now-defunct Special Services Division, previously known as the Bureau of Special Services and Investigations (BOSSI), which is named in the episode. The agreement consists of a set of guidelines that regulate police behavior regarding the surveillance of political activity. It also forced the NYPD to hand over surveillance material collected.

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Office of
Clark Paley
130 Broadway
Friday, December 5

Office of
Dr. Seth Bernstein
1152 First Avenue
Thursday, December 11

Home of
Darryl Grady
Staten Island, NY
Tuesday, December 16

4 5 6

Home of
Sam Wilton
Brooklyn, NY
Friday, December 19

Meta News Archive
469 west 28th street
Tuesday, December 23

Apartment of
Christine Aimsley
84 St. Mark's Place
Wednesday, December 31

7 8 9

One Police Plaza
Personnel Division
Friday, January 2, 1999

Office of
Allan Taylor
442 Eight Street
Tuesday, January 6

Supreme Court
Trial Part 43
Motion Hearing
Thursday, January 23


Office of
Executive Assistant
D.A. Jack McCoy
Thursday, January 30

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Season 9
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