Law and Order
Law and Order
"Transgender Bridge"
SVU, Episode 17.03
Production number: 17003
First aired (US): 30 September 2015
First aired (UK): 1 November 2015
First aired (CAN): 30 September 2015
First aired (AUS): 25 February 2016
  th of 476 produced in SVU  
th of 476 released in SVU
  th of 1229 released in all  
Teleplay By
Jill Abbinanti & Céline C. Robinson

Story By
Julie Martin & Warren Leight

Directed By
Arthur W. Forney

When a transgender teen is taunted by high school kids, bullying escalates to tragedy.


Fifteen-year-old Avery Parker was walking home from school through Fort Tryon Park when she's surrounded by a group of rowdy boys. Taunts and jokes intensify to pushing and shoving, leaving Avery in the hospital and three assailants under arrest. When the DA's office decides to try one of the culprits, 15-year-old Darius McCrae, as an adult, the SVU squad agonizes over whether the punishment fits the crime, and must deal with the pain of both families involved.


Fifteen-year-old transgender teenager Avery Parker is taking photos off a bridge at a park when she's approached & harassed by a group of high school boys while bystanders take video of it. One of the boys, Darius McCrae takes her camera and when Avery attempts to get it back, Darius pushes her, causing her to accidentally fall off the bridge.

At the hospital, Carisi and Benson visit Avery (who has a broken femur) where she tells them what happened. Rollins and Fin go on the internet to check social media where they discover three online videos of the incident.

The videos are traced to students at a local public school where the principal identifies the guys who harassed Avery as Darius McCrae, Markus Green and Keon Williams. The boys are pulled out of class and taken to the precinct.

While at the precinct, Markus and Keon tell the detectives that Darius pushed Avery off the bridge. When Mrs. McCrae arrives at the precinct and learns what Darius did, she is shocked. She tells the detectives that her son is a good kid. Darius tells the detectives that it was his idea to tease Avery, but pushing her was an accident and says that he didn't want his friends to think that he was gay.

When Avery is brought to the precinct to ID her assailants, she positively identifies them as Darius, Markus and Keon. The next day in family court, Keon and Marcus are sentenced to probation for their actions while Darius is told he could get three months in juvenile detention. Mrs. McCrae is unhappy about this and decides to get a lawyer for her son. Darius asks the detectives to give Avery an apology letter with drawings of her included.

After Avery reads the letter and sees the pictures, she forgives Darius. When her parents talk to the SVU detectives about what to expect next, the hospital calls a code blue and it is revealed that Avery died from a fatty embolism due to her fractured femur. According to her doctor, her death was due to the fall.

ADA O'Dwyer visits the SVU squad, letting them know that the District Attorney's office will be taking over the prosecution and Darius will be charged with second-degree manslaughter as an adult. This is due to the DA's office wanting to take a stand against the recent outbreak in violence against transgender teens, and a harsh sentencing and conviction would send a message that hate crimes against transgender people would be unacceptable in New York, thus averting future attacks. When Rollins tells Mrs. McCrae, she is devastated. Avery's family doesn't want Darius to be charged as an adult because Avery believed in forgiveness and would not want him to have such a harsh sentence. Darius' lawyer waives a jury trial and calls for a bench trial instead.

In court, O'Dwyer screens the footage of the incident, stating that Darius physically and verbally assaulted Avery, Carisi testifies about Avery's statement and injuries and Avery's doctor testifies that the cause of her death was due to the fall.

Darius' lawyer calls his teacher to the stand where she speaks about his good behavior. When Dr. Lindstrom testifies, he says that Darius' impulse control is not fully developed and his actions toward Avery had nothing to do with hate.

When Darius takes the stand, O'Dwyer repeatedly questions him until he breaks down in tears & apologizes for his actions. Darius' lawyer calls Mr. Parker to the stand. During his testimony, Mr. Parker shows the judge the drawing that Darius made for Avery.

In the end, despite the testimonies from the victim's parents and Darius's teacher, he was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter attached with a hate crime. He was sent to juvenile detention until he turned 18, then he will be moved to an actual prison to serve out the rest of his sentence. In total, he was sentenced to seven years in prison.


Main cast[]

Recurring cast[]

Guest cast[]


Episode references


Carisi (about the victim): Is she conscious?
Dolan: In and out. And she's not a she.
Rollins: Transgender?
Dolan: Boy dressed as a girl? That makes him...her a special victim, right?
Carisi: Yeah. Good call.

Background information and notes[]

  • It is revealed that Judge Elana Barth survived being shot by Johnny Drake in the season 16 "finale", as she is seen presiding over the case.
  • Danny Burstein and Rebecca Luker, who played parents Eric and Lisa Parker, were married in real life.

Episode scene cards[]

1 2 3 4

Fort Tryon Park
Monday, June 15

Shirley Chisholm
High School
4392 Broadway
Tuesday, June 16

Book Culture
536 West 112th Street
Tuesday, June 16

Office of
Corporation Counsel
106 Church Street
Wednesday, June 17

5 6 7

Community Church of
New York
40 East 35th Street
Thursday, June 18

Supreme Court
Part 21
Monday, June 22

Supreme Court
Part 21
Tuesday, June 23

Previous episode:
"Criminal Pathology"
"Transgender Bridge"
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
Season 17
Next episode:
"Institutional Fail"
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