"Suicide Box"
L&O, Episode 13.16
Production number: E3312
First aired: 26 March 2003
  th of 456 produced in L&O  
th of 456 released in L&O
  th of 1229 released in all  
Written By
Aaron Zelman

Directed By
Matthew Penn


A media-savvy attorney defends a black teenager accused of shooting an off-duty female police officer. Briscoe and Green initially look into the possibility that her husband shot her for having an affair. But a new lead enables them to track down the shooter, Stevie Thomas, a young black teenager, who reveals to Green that he shot the officer because of his anger at an apparent cover up of the death of his brother. Stevie's lawyer, a media-slick attorney, alleges that the botched investigation provides a valid defense for the shooting, and stirs up racial tensions. The investigation uncovers a trail of incompetence and indifference in the prison system and the police investigating the brother's death. Files and evidence are missing, as is the body, and the medical examiner who carried out the autopsy is uncooperative.

McCoy then finds himself attempting to head off the defense's allegations that this is a race issue, but realizes that the odds are against him.

Finally, Stevie is acquitted of the attempted murder, leaving some serious soul searching to be done by McCoy, Green, and Van Buren.


Main cast

Guest cast



Alice Cushman: Well, tell him this was a freak thing. Not like there's anyone out there gunning for me, Don.
Ed Green: Actually we can't confirm or deny.
Alice Cushman: Yeah. All those parking tickets. I knew I should have worn a Kevlar bra.

Stevie Thomas: So what, you get some kind of raise to take a brotha off the street?
Ed Green: That's right man, for every ten I bring in I get an extra day's pay. If he's got a big mouth, I get two days. If I bring him in a little bloody, the man gives me a damn toaster oven. The best thing for you to do, Stevie, is for you to talk to me.
Stevie Thomas: Give me a reason why.
Ed Green: I am your last chance, brah! You shot a white cop! Nobody else in this building wants to listen to your little ass.
Stevie Thomas: You want me to say I'm sorry? The only thing I'm sorry about is that cop's still alive!
Ed Green: You don't even have a record! Now, I know you didn't wake up one day and say, "I'm going out and shoot me a cop today!"

There he goes, Johnnie Cochran without the rhyme.

–Anita van Buren about Carl Halpert

And if God had wanted man to have fair trials, He would have given jury Pentium Processors instead of prejudices. Hey, all I'm saying is people bring a whole lot of baggage into everything they do, and lawyers like Halpert know how to make the worst of it.

–Lennie Briscoe

Yeah, I saw that son of a bitch who shot Eric Thomas. Pretty hard not to see when... you the son of a bitch who pulled the trigger.

–Jason Hendri claims responsibility for Eric Thomas' murder

Prove to the world that your oldest was really murdered, and I swear to you, I will personally go after whoever was responsible for covering it up.

–Anita van Buren to Janet Thomas

Background information and notes

Episode scene cards

1 2 3

Weiner Memorial
Teaneck, New Jersey
Wednesday, February 6

P.S. 352
1392 St. Nicholas Avenue
Thursday, February 7

Chambers Of
Judge Joseph Flint
Monday, February 18

4 5 6

Supreme Court
Trial Part 73
Tuesday, March 19

Supreme Court
Trial Part 73
Wednesday, March 20

Supreme Court
Trial Part 73
Friday, March 22

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