|←||L&O, Episode 4.19||→|
|Production number: 69030|
First aired: 13 April 1994
| Written By|
Michael S. Chernuchin & William N. Fordes
Arthur W. Forney
Racial tensions climb in the City over the handling of the death of a black boy, deemed an accident, and a white Italian-American man during subsequent racial protests.
The episode begins with a hit-and-run car accident in Harlem where a twelve-year-old black boy is hit by a car and killed. A while later the driver, a Jewish businessman, turns himself in and admits he left the scene out of fear. He claims the boy just ran in front of his car and he couldn't avoid him; forensic tests confirm his story. As a result, he is only charged with the misdemeanor of leaving the scene of an accident and agrees to perform community service.
Outragred over the result of the case, a local prominent black clergyman begins organizing protests over the way the police department and District Attorney's office handled the case. Urged on by the clergyman, one of the protests turns violent and ends with the killing of a white man (of Italian descent) by a black protester, while the crowd screamed "Get the Jew!".
The black protester is charged with the homicide of the white man, and racial tensions over the way both cases have been handled come close to boiling over.
Green builds her defense on an expert that claims Roberts was out of his mind because he was in a mob. After calling Berger as a witness and ignoring the judge, this defense is ruled inadmissable.
The trial ends when the jury is deadlocked and Schiff orders Stone to let Roberts go. The episode ends with Stone saying that he is not sure how long he will stay in his job.
- Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe
- Chris Noth as Detective Mike Logan
- S. Epatha Merkerson as Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
- Michael Moriarty as Executive A.D.A. Benjamin Stone
- Jill Hennessy as A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
- Steven Hill as D.A. Adam Schiff
- Carolyn McCormick as Dr. Elizabeth Olivet (scenes deleted)
- John Fiore as Detective Tony Profaci
- Ed Hodson as Forensics Lab Technician Marks
- Lorraine Toussaint as Public Defender Shambala Green
- Susan Blommaert as Judge Rebecca Steinman
- Vince O'Brien as Judge Phillip Franks
- Tony Todd as Reverend Ott
- Michael Constantine as Joshua Berger
- Beatrice Winde as Corina Roberts
- Damon Saleem as Daryl Johnson
- Kevin Thigpen as Isaac Roberts
- Elaine Bromka as Mrs. De Santis
- Arthur French as Dr. Myron Jansen
- David Wolos-Fonteno as Jimmy Graves
- Sharon Washington as Mrs. Fox
- J.K. Simmons as Jerry Luppin
- Christopher Wynkoop as Bloom
- John Steven Jones as Bobby Griffen
- Sean Nelson as Damon Fox
- Omar Scroggins as Luther Haywood
- Tanganyika as Evelyn
- Melanee Murray as Janet
- Carl Jay Cofield as Ott's Assistant
- John Gleeson Connolly as Barnes
- Bob Cea as Stokes
- Jon Vandertholen as CSU Technician Landau
- Matt Conley as Jury Foreman
- Tessell Williams as Neighbor
- Nicholas J. Giangiulio as Mr. De Santis
Background information and notes
- This episode is based on the Crown Heights Riot. Yosef Lifsh, veered into the sidewalk, striking and killing a seven-year-old Guyanese boy named Gavin Cato and seriously injuring his cousin Angela, also seven years of age. Eyewitnesses have given various reports of the car's speed, from 25 miles per hour to 65. Lifsh left for Israel before ever facing charges. The black residents of the neighborhood then rioted for four consecutive days. (Crown Heights riot at Wikipedia)
- The Law & Order second season episode "The Fertile Fields" was also based on the Crown Heights Riot.
Episode scene cards
Grand Jury Room
St. Cassandra's Hospital
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