Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 11, Episode 11 - Law & Order - full transcript

A woman is killed in the park at the same time that Puerto Rican Day was going on. The city wants a Puerto Rican arrested. But the investigation leads to her husband whom she is divorcing and she is also planning to force him to sell his business. When they clear her husband, they shift their attention towards his partner who stood to lose if the business is sold. They learn he was with her in the park. When questioned he claims he was with her but he left to get help when some Puerto Ricans were coming at them. He is charged and placed on trial. During the trial a Puerto Rican who was arrested on another charge claims he has information. McCoy questions him and places him on the stand. Briscoe claims what he said was not he said when he was first questioned. He then admits that he knows someone who can verify what he said. The man says that it was a Hispanic boy who killed the woman. They arrest and put him on trial. His defense lawyer claims the boy was just caught up in the moment of the Day's festivities.

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In the criminal justice system

the people are represented by two
separate yet equally important groups,

the police
who investigate crime

and the district attorneys
who prosecute the offenders.

These are their stories.




I feel very exposed here, Ira.

Privacy in
public spaces, Paige.

That's what
New York's all about.

Can't we just get a hotel?

Right now, let's
don't go anywhere.

Let's add

"Rowboat in Central Park" to
our life lists of sexual loci.

Let's do add it, Paige.



Looks like she was
beaten pretty bad.

Excuse me, I have a pretty
shaken up lady here.

You're the couple
in the rowboat?

Right, that's us.

Was she moving
when you found her?

IRA: Paige?

Oh, God, no.

If we're at all close
to wrapping it up,

I'd like to take
her away from here.

We're going to need to take full
statements from both of you.

We'll get through it
as quickly as we can.

Is it possible to keep my
full identity out of this?

Strictly speaking,
we're being naughty.


Officially, she's still
married to another individual.

Did she murder him?

God, no.

Oh, see, we're Homicide.

Anything else, you have to take
up with the adultery squad.

(SIGHS) Name?

I don't know if they're
responsible for this here,

but I had a couple of knuckleheads from
the parade try to mess with my rowboats.

Can you describe them?

Puerto Rican.

Tall, short, fat, thin?

I couldn't tell you.

Did you get a look
at the dead woman?

Yeah. Right.

Was she with anybody
when she rented the boat?

All by herself.

She had a pair of shoulders on
her big enough for a linebacker.

Thanks for the tip.



What's up, Sarge?

A group of Hispanics coming
away from the parade

were just collared for
robbery and sexual assault.

They're on their way
to Central Booking.

See if you can get them
re-routed over to the house.

I went to the parade
and that's it.

You got collared in the park.

I went through the park to
go to the subway to go home.

(SIGHS) Let's see.

The parade's on Fifth Avenue,
you live in the East Bronx.

You got to take the Lexington
Avenue line to get home.

So you don't go through the
park to get to the subway.

You want to try another story?

If you seen somebody
holding something

that says "Sony"
in front of their faces,

those are video cameras.

Hey, one stinking day out of the year
to honor the Puerto Rican people,

I got to get this
kind of harassment?

Hold up. You ripped the girl's
shirt off out of patriotism?

Hey, if that's the
one bitch I'm thinking of,

I wouldn't exactly
call that no shirt, man.

Now, would this be
the bitch in the rowboat?

I wasn't near no rowboat.

Where were you guys?

Not where we should've
been, I guess.

I had my clothes ripped off in Central
Park in the middle of the day.

Well, nobody expected
that kind of crowd.

If we had, there would have been a much
greater police presence in the park.

Not too comforting to think

unless there's police standing
there, that this is what happens.

Is there anything you can tell
us about who attacked you?

Teens, 20s.

I guess Puerto Rican.

Have a look at these.

Tell us if you recognize
any of the faces.

I don't know.

Anything you could
tell us would be helpful.

What I remember about
them wasn't their faces.

It doesn't have to be faces.
Clothes, tattoos, jewelry...

What I remember about them
is hands grabbing me.

What seems like a thousand hands.
That's it.

That's all I remember.

ED: We have a vendor that says
you and your boys robbed him

That's wrong, man.

Maybe somebody paid him
and he didn't realize.

But definitely I didn't rob nobody
knowingly with forethought.

How about using water bottles to
spray girls with, did you do that?

It was a hot day.
We was fooling around.

Fair enough.

Tell me about
the girl at the lake.

I don't know
nothing about that.

Well, what happened? I mean, you
were spraying her with water

and things just
progressed from there?

I want to talk to my lawyer.

BRISCOE: Tell me what was
going on by the lake, Kiki.

I wasn't near no lake.

How sure are you that there were
no witnesses who saw you there?

Look, the only place
I went to in the park

was to the zoo, on account of
I had to use the bathroom.

You know, by the clock
with the animals?

I mean, I swear to God.
I swear to the Blessed Virgin!

I want my lawyer now

You canvass the park?

We're concentrating on
the ones who took a collar.

I've got other detectives
canvassing the park, Chief.

Where do we stand
on holding these guys?

Arraignment's tomorrow morning
on robbery and assault.

Yeah, well, given that we had
some members of the force

conspicuously non-proactive
while all this was going on,

we'd be well-advised to pursue
this investigation aggressively.

I would also appreciate if you
go see the woman's husband.

I got people all the way up to First
Dep pissing in my ear who he is.

Who is he?

Some computer billionaire.

Downtown wants him
to feel taken care of.

They'll let him know
they're on top of it.


ETHAN: I just can't
believe she's gone.

We think we're pretty close
to having a suspect.

One of the people that was in
the park doing the attacks?

Yeah, we're leaning that way.

I just don't understand how
people can go crazy like that.

Or how they can be
allowed to go crazy.

This is Seth Teitel. He's
a good friend of mine

and vice president
of my company.

The cops were
just standing there?

Girls came running out of the park
who had their clothes ripped off,

who were hysterical and the
cops just stood there?

If they did, they were wrong.

If they didn't, maybe
Susan would still be alive.

But Seth, we don't
know what happened.

We think money makes us safe.

We have doormen, we have limos.

Finally you get to the point where
you don't even risk taking cabs

and then you find out
you're not safe.

Not nearly safe.

Susan went to take a
rowboat all by herself?


That was a totally
Susan thing to do.

Can you think of anyone who would've
wanted to hurt her for any reason?

You're asking the wrong guy.

Susan and I were like
an old pair of shoes.

I mean, we'd been
together since college,

we were best friends.

I can't think of anybody
that would want to hurt her.

We've got a lot of
cops working on this.

Hopefully we'll find
what we're looking for.

Hey, you guys
catch the Capp homicide?


From where I'm standing, it looks
like a sea of perps on Sunday.

I'm figuring they misjudged
the deployment down at 1PP,

the guys had parade detail
got caught short-handed.

You ever on the job?

I was a year too old when I took the test.
Otherwise I could've...

Anything unusual
about the woman?

Not exactly kismet in
the marriage department,

but other than that
she seemed normal.

What, she and her
husband used to fight?

To the point
where she moved out.

She just moved back
in about a week ago.

How do you know she wasn't
just taking a trip?

Fellas, give me
a little credit, huh?

She was upset,
she has some guy helping her,

dragging out a lamp,
pillow, photo albums.

Plus, she told me
to hold her mail

and under no circumstances
deliver it to her husband.

Can you describe the guy
that was helping her out?

Male, Caucasian, approximately
60 years of age,

possible Boston accent.

Thanks, Kevin. You'd have
made a hell of a detective.

Where'd you say
the girl was from?

Somerville, Massachusetts.

Sherlock didn't mention the guy
helping her was probably her father.

He and his wife were supposed
to be flying down this morning.

That's right.

She'd say, "Five years, Dad."

"Let Ethan go public
with the company"

"and we'll pack up and
come back to Massachusetts."

Can you think of anyone
she might have been seeing?

Seeing as in carrying on? Is
that what you're suggesting?

We're not suggesting anything, sir.
We're just asking questions.

On the chance that whoever
killed your daughter knew her,

we need to take a look at all of
her friends and acquaintances.

What about her husband?
Anyone think to look at him?

Martin, please.

We don't think he had
anything to do with it.

To the whole world,
including my wife,

Ethan was this great catch.

Way I see it,
he was the lucky one.

He got the great catch,
not her.

Do you think he'd do
anything to hurt her?

Absolutely not.

Except that he wanted
out of the marriage.

ED: How do you know that?
Because my daughter told me.

He met someone else.

He wanted out of the marriage, but
she wasn't about to beg him to stay.

Had she been to a lawyer?

You better believe it.

So there was enough for both of
them to walk away with a bundle?

No question.

Gee, now I've heard
that an angry spouse

can sometimes think
any number is not enough.

Yes, I've also heard
of that happening.

So how much was Susan
looking to bleed him for?

That might be the wrong
terminology to use

when talking to her
matrimonial attorney.

Go ahead, use any
terminology you want.

Susan wanted and was entitled to, an
accurate evaluation of Ethan's company.

Sometimes that's provided
willingly, sometimes it's not.

Well, let's say
nothing was done willingly,

that the divorce gets as
nasty as a divorce can get.

What happens to
the company then?

Worst case scenario, the company's
sold, the proceeds split.

Was it headed that way?

Susan had a lot of anger.

She wasn't going to
make it easy.

All the ones they collared at the park
pleaded out to robbery or assault.

The most they're looking
at is 18 months.

Well, it might be worth taking
a harder look at the husband.

Is there anything to
put him at the park?

Not so far.

See, he was a little too
intent on making us think

his marriage was in good shape.

Turns out his wife had
gone to see a lawyer

and she was all set to
take him to the cleaners.

Sounds like motive to me.

SETH: Can I help you?

We need to talk to Ethan here.

Is there some place we can go
that's a little more private?

Yeah, we can do it right here.

Seth, would you
excuse us, please?

You and your wife were
getting a divorce?

What's the relevance of that?

I don't know, it just seems like
something you would've mentioned,

along with the fact that you two
were like "a pair of old shoes."

BRISCOE: We were
told that her demands

might lead to your
company being broken up.

Are you thinking that I murdered her
to prevent that from happening?

We've seen people
murdered for a lot less.

So you want me to provide
you with an alibi?

Sunday morning
I was at my apartment

on the telephone with
my people in San Jose.

Around noon, I met a friend at
Barney's, made a couple of purchases,

had some lunch,

went to a Japanese
animation show,

then went home.

I've got credit card receipts,
you're free to look at them.

Who's the friend
you met at Barney's?

We're just trying to get a sense as
to whether Ethan's marital situation

played a role
in his wife's death.

As in, Ethan killed her?

Well, not necessarily
Ethan himself,

maybe somebody trying to
get in good with Ethan.

Guys with that much money
tend to attract opportunists.

Would you be including me
under that general heading?

I wouldn't include
you under any heading.

I don't know you that well.

Yeah, you guys are famous
for not making snap judgments.

Whatever you think of me though

Ethan had absolutely nothing
to do with his wife's death.

He's as gentle a soul
as I've ever known.

So, he's not responsible for
those bruises on your neck?

I didn't realize I was
being physically examined.

It's another thing
we're famous for.

Ethan didn't do this.
It was his friend, Seth.

He attributed Ethan's
marital problems to me.

To use his words, I had destabilized
a perfectly ordered universe.

Did he say that to you with
his hands around your throat?

Just before. I made
the mistake of laughing.

That's when he put his
hands around my throat.

Seth has to have a pretty big
stock position in the company.

No doubt.
Which means

if the company gets broken up
in a divorce, he loses big.

As does Ethan's girlfriend.

Yeah. If she really wanted to set herself
up for life, she'd cover for Ethan.

Well, why don't we get that doorman
and see what he has to say about it.

Yeah. Maybe we'll get lucky
and he's made an entry

in his official
Dick Tracy notebook.

You ever notice Ethan
with any other women?

Oh, a guma in other words?

Any other women.

None that springs to mind.

Hey, they've done away with the
Safe and Loft Squad, am I right?

Yeah, right.

Hey, you know anything about
Ethan going out on Sunday?

Well, I don't recall any of the usual
limo drivers he uses showing up.

Did he go out on foot?

It's a possibility.

Are you maybe liking
him for the homicide?

Gee, Kevin, I don't know.
So far his alibi holds up.

Why, you think
we should like him?

Ordinarily, you got to
always like the husband.

This one might be a little too much
of a wet noodle to pull it off.

Briscoe, Green.
In my office.

Well, thanks for coming in, Kevin.
We really appreciate it.

I ask you to make this
guy feel taken care of

and you make him a suspect?

We're going where this
investigation takes us, Chief.

Which is exactly what you're
supposed to be doing, Lieutenant.

Downtown just finds
it a bit hard to fathom

why your guys are so focused
on the victim's husband,

when there's no history
of domestic abuse,

no criminal record, no nothing!

Hey, there was a nasty
divorce about to happen.

And that makes it likely, in your mind,
for a guy like this to do a murder?

It makes it worth
looking into, yes.

Chief, we still have
a lot of work to do.

Do us all a favor.

Find out it was one of
the punks from the parade.

So nice to have the
support of the job.

Is Ethan the only one
you like at this point?

Either Ethan or his friend.
What friend?

His friend, Seth.

He stood to lose a fortune
of his own in the divorce.

Plus, he tried to strangle
Ethan's girlfriend.

Plus he seems like
half a whack job.

Hey, the doorman said that Ethan
didn't take the limo on Sunday, right?

Maybe Seth did.

Listen, do what you have to do.

Not what the chief wants
us to be looking at.

The chief's not running
this investigation.

The dispatcher told us you drove
this guy Seth Teitel on Sunday?

Yeah, right.
That's right.

Do you have it in your
trip log where you went?

He had me for the day.
I didn't keep a trip log.

You happen to remember where
he had you drive him to?

I picked him up at his apartment
around 79th and Columbus.

I took him down to his office.

I remember he wanted
to stop at a news stand.

I remember he wanted to look
at guitars in a store window.

He went up to Central Park and
had me drop him by the rowboats.

BRISCOE: So you and
Ethan go way back, huh?

We went to MIT together.

You were with the company
from the ground up?

Can I ask what your point is?

My point is, if Susan caused the breakup
of the company, you had a lot to lose.

And so I murdered her?

When's the last
time you saw her?

I don't know, month ago,
three weeks ago.

Seth, you're a smart guy.

Ask yourself, are they asking me questions
they already know the answer to?

What do you mean?

Ask yourself

is there proof
that you saw Susan

not a month ago
or three weeks ago

but the very same day
she was killed?

I did not kill her.

Hey, man, ask yourself,

did someone see me at the exact
same spot where Susan was killed?

Did someone see me?

Now ask yourself, what would
your answer be if they did?

We arranged to
meet at the lake.

She rowed up to the shore,

got out, sat on a bench.

I told her how much the company
meant to Ethan and me.

I tried to talk her out of destroying
something just for the sake of destroying it.

I thought I was actually
beginning to make sense to her.

All of a sudden these guys
started running down the hill,

yelling, spraying
people with water.

So Susan told me that
I should go get a cop.

So that's what I went to do.

But there were no cops.

You guys were completely
absent from the park that day.

That isn't the same story
you told us before.

I was ashamed.

I was afraid Ethan
would never forgive me.

I was also afraid that you would
think that I'd killed her

and that I was making
the whole thing up.

Good call.


The last thing I want

any of you to feel is that there's
people at City Hall or in Albany

micromanaging the way
this case is handled.

Now, why would we
think that, Donny?

Other than the fact
that you're here.

As you know, there was
considerable public outcry

that the cops didn't do more by way of
responding to the wilding in the park.

There'd been some hope
that an effective prosecution

in this case would offset that.

We're anticipating that there
will be an effective prosecution.

But it's not a prosecution of one of the
individuals involved in the wilding.

That's because we don't
have the necessary evidence

to prosecute any
of those individuals.

It sounds like the only evidence you've got
against Seth Teitel is circumstantial.

That's usually
the case with homicide.

Okay, look, I'm all
for a level playing field,

justice being
color blind, etcetera.

We had hoped to use this trial to punish
one or more of these Puerto Ricans

who went nuts in the park that day.
If we can't, we can't.

What I need to be
able to report back

is that you're all
absolutely convinced

that you got the right guy.

We wouldn't be prosecuting
him if we weren't.

Ethan and Seth were very close,

although I think in Seth's
mind they were closer.

Objection. She has no idea
what was in Seth's mind.


Did Seth ever personally indicate he felt
threatened by Ethan's impending divorce?

He said that if the company
was dissolved in a divorce,

then his stock options
would be worthless.

What role, if any,
did he assign to you?

He held me responsible,
along with Susan.

How do you know that?

One day he found me doing
something on Ethan's computer and

he went crazy.

He started choking me,

saying that everything was perfect
until I set my sights on Ethan.

He said that if it would keep the
company from going down the tubes

and him from moving back into his
parents' house in Rockville Center,

then he'd risk getting
sent away for murder.

Nothing further.

Is it possible you saw Seth
as a rival, Miss Bergman?

And that's why you're up
here testifying against him?

I think Ethan was pretty squarely
in the heterosexual camp,

if that's what
you're referring to.

Actually, I was thinking
more to the point that

you were driving a wedge
between Ethan and his wife

and Ethan and his friend,

in order for you for you to claim the
power and the money you were seeking.



Did you send
this e-mail to Ethan?


I ask that it be
marked into evidence.

So ordered.

"Hey, Snakeskin,"

"can't wait till I'm next
to you at the controls."

"I hope it's not too big-headed of me
to think I have something to offer."

"Especially once you
shed some excess baggage."

"Don't take this to mean
I'm not happy now."

"It isn't everyone who has their very
own boy-genius crawl into their lap"

"to go nigh-nigh
nippy nigh-nigh."

Stop this.
Sit down, Mr. Teitel.

I don't want you embarrassing
my friend Ethan this way.

Just stop what you're doing.

Witnesses getting antsy?

Nah, I gave them all
crayons and coloring books.

They'll be fine.

See you in there.

Hey, guys. I have a witness
you might be interested in.

Who's that?
Name's Kiki Morales.

He was one of the wild
bunch in the park.

Pleaded out to
assault and robbery.

He started
serving his sentence,

saw your guy's picture in the
paper, got in touch with me.

Said he recognized him
from the park.

Can place him in the rowboat.

How long does it take
to get him down here?

I took the liberty,
he's here already.

Interview him,
see what we've got.

Yeah, no problem.

Where were you on the afternoon of
Sunday, June 11th, Mr. Morales?

I was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade,
then I went to Central Park.

Where in Central Park were you?

The lake.

What, if anything,
did you see there?

That gentleman
seated right there.

He jumped out of a rowboat and
walked by me in a big rush.

There were a lot of people
in Central Park that day.

How sure are you
it was the defendant?

There weren't any other people
jumping out of rowboats and running.

And I saw his picture in the paper.
There's no doubt in my mind.

That's the same guy.

Nothing further.

Your witness is lying I questioned
him after he was collared,

he swore up and down he
never went past the zoo.

Maybe he was lying then.

Maybe he was, maybe he lies whenever
it's in his interest to lie.

What's he getting
for testifying?

Time served.

A full year off
his prison sentence.

JACK: Even if he told
the truth on the stand,

the Defense is entitled to full
disclosure of his statement to Briscoe.

Which means his credibility
is shot along with ours.

How did this happen?

There was nothing in his
statement that said the zoo

was the only place
in the park he went.

On the face of it,
there was no contradiction.

Obviously we were happy
to have eyewitness testimony.

Oh, this is going to get ugly.

Yes, it is.

They're going to come
after us for everything.

Cops outside the park
who just stood there,

city failing to act, me not
doing my job, all of it.

I should've talked to Briscoe.

I shouldn't have relied solely
on the statement he gave me.

We need to find out
where Morales really was

and what, if anything,
he actually saw.

How do we do that?

Stick him in a room
with Briscoe and Green.

That's the trouble
with lying, Kiki.

You have to remember to tell the
same lies to the same people.

Look, I don't do time
so good, all right?

I got a sick mother,
I got asthma.

You should think about your
sick mother and your asthma

before you go on
your next crime spree.

I get loaded,
I don't think about nothing.

Yeah? Well,
think about this.

You just added perjury
to your list of felonies.

No, no, no, no. I didn't do no
perjury by saying I saw the guy.

ED: By saying you
saw him by the lake.

I did see him by the lake.

So you perjured yourself by saying
you didn't go past the zoo.

That wasn't on the stand.

We're going to prove that you
lied on the stand, Kiki.

And you know what that means?

Five more years at Green Haven.

What if I told you guys
the truth?

what if you do?

Would it help?

It couldn't hurt.

All right. A bunch of us were
down at the lake, right?

We saw the girl in the boat.

You know, we started
throwing things at her.

She got upset, rowed to
shore and said something.

Then this guy, Nestor, jumped in the
boat with her and they got into it.

Problem is, Kiki, that you're
completely useless as a witness now.

The jury isn't going to trust you to
give them directions to the men's room.

I think you're wrong
about that, man.

'Cause I can be totally
sincere when I got to be.

BRISCOE: Now, who else
saw Nestor in the boat?

A bunch of us saw him.

Anybody who isn't
currently doing time?

There is one guy.

The Puerto Rican
Day Parade in June,

you remember
what you were doing?

I was there.
I watched it.

I hung out for awhile
and went home.

Let me try to save us
some time here, David.

Look, you're in no real strong
position to be playing cat and mouse.

We have somebody that
has you at the park,

by the lake, witnessing
a woman been beat to death.

I stopped him from beating her.

So you knew the one
on trial is innocent?

I figured with his money,
he'd get off.

Yeah. I'm sure
the D.A.'s office

isn't going to connect
you up as an accessory.

I mean, the fact that you were in the
boat and that you didn't come forward,

none of that's going to
be a problem for you, huh?

I've never so much as been arrested.
I have two kids.

I have a job. What
are you doing to me?

Look here, man, we're ready
to send you to prison.

The only thing you got working in your
favor is the D.A.'s in a bad spot.

Now, they might be inclined to cut
you some slack, if they believe you.

Any way you can
help yourself here?

There's this woman who might
be able to ID Nestor.

They'll believe her.

Why are you asking me this now?

Well, we've received some information
that leads us to believe

that we arrested the wrong guy.

Except now it's been a while.

If you're not sure,
you're not sure.

We're not trying to
talk you into anything.

I told David I didn't want to
be doing nothing like this.

I was pissed off,

but I didn't want to get involved
in the whole thing like this.

All we want you to do is
take a look at a photo array

and tell us if you see the guy.

If you don't, you don't.



What do you guys want?

We want to arrest you, we just don't want
to do it in front of all these people.

Arrest me for what?

I stood right here in this
office and I asked you,

"Are you certain
you have the right guy?"

You told me you did.

At the time, everything pointed
to Seth Teitel as the killer.


I went to the mayor
and I told him

that he should go to the leadership
of the Hispanic community.

Assure them that no one from their
constituency was being targeted.

No one has been targeted.

He gave them his word, Nora.

What do you want
us to do, Donny?

Ignore evidence of this defendant's
guilt because we made a mistake?

We could have demonstrations.

Even worse.

This administration had the
political high ground on this one

and your people
just pissed it away.

Tell the mayor I'd be happy to meet with
anybody he thinks would be beneficial.

It's not going to be that easy.

These are bridges we've tried to
build with the minority communities,

they're not too sturdy.

So it's going to be damn near
impossible to mend them now.

What if you attack my decision
to prosecute in the press?

That would put you back
on dry land.

And what would
be your response?

No response.
Turn the other cheek.

And I assume you'll have someone
reach out to this dotcom guy?

Express our sincere apologies?

I did apologize.

And it was sincere.

No one is looking
for any scalps, Nora.

You understand.

I do, completely.

Mr. McCoy.

That was fun.

Good to know
they're consistent.

I'm sorry about the political
capital I just cost you.

There's no need
to apologize to me.

I do need a conviction.

What are the chances of that?

The Defense is making
noises about this kid's IQ.

Anything to it?

From the video tape?

He was smart enough
to enjoy the parade.

Let's make sure
the jury sees it.

JUDGE: State your
objections, Counselor.

My objection is that the tape is
prejudicial rather than probative.

It's inflammatory and has nothing
to do with the crime charged.

We'd argue the tape establishes
the presence of the defendant

in Central Park
at the time of...

A fact already
stipulated into the record.

But more importantly, it establishes
a sequence of events related

in cause and effect to the
eventual murder of Susan Capp.

I know that's what Mr. McCoy
wants to convey to the jury,

but I would
argue strenuously that

the laws of evidence don't
permit him to do that.

Well, the events on the tape are
sufficiently related to the crime charged.

The tape comes in.

What were you doing on Sunday,
June 11th, Mr. Stenopolis?

I like to videotape things, events
around the city and whatnot.

Sometimes you see
famous people like,

like last week I videotaped Steve
Martin walking down Madison Avenue.

And sometimes it's just pretty girls
like you see in New York every day.

Were you in Central Park
with your video camera

following the
Puerto Rican Day Parade?

Yes, I was.

Was the tape we're about to see
made in that location on that date?

Yes, it was.

The Defense
renews its objection

to the showing of this
tape, Your Honor.

Objection overruled.

Mr. McCoy?



I would draw
the jury's attention

to the individual in the
right center of the frame

and ask that he be
identified as the defendant.

JACK: Miss Guzman,

what happened to you while you
were walking through the park?

I was passing a group of men.

They said something.

I ignored them.

Then one of them grabbed me.

Another one splashed
me with water.

Then they surrounded me.

Tearing at my clothes.

Groping me.


One of them put his
hands on my breast.

And his tongue in my ear.

That was nice.

What did you do?

I tried to fight them off with my fists,
I kicked at them, whatever I could do.

Do you see any of those
individuals in this courtroom?


Let the record show that the witness
identified the defendant, Nestor Salazar.

JUDGE: So ordered.

Where were you in the park
when this attack occurred?

Near the lake
with the rowboats.

Nothing further.

What specifically did Mr. Salazar
do to you, Miss Guzman?

He was one of the group
that attacked me.


Listen carefully to
the question.

What specifically did
Mr. Salazar do to you?

He was there.

I'm not sure what he did.

Did you see Mr. Salazar
attack Susan Capp?

No, but I saw him running
down to the lake.

But did you, at anytime, see
Mr. Salazar with Susan Capp?

No, I didn't.

Thank you.
No further questions.

I knew Nestor and the rest of
these guys from the projects.

And Nestor's Brazilian.

Sometimes I think
he tried too hard

to prove that he was
down with the neighborhood.

He wanted to fit in.

When I saw him and these other guys
spraying the girls with water,

I went over to them and tried
to chill them out a little bit.

They showed me enough
respect that they stopped.

Was that the last time
you saw them that day?

I had my kids with me. I
was buying them ice cream.

One of the guys with Nestor
came running over to me

and said Nestor
was flipping out.

I went over and saw him in a rowboat banging
this women's head against the side.

JACK: What did you do?

I ran into the lake,

climbed on the boat
and pulled him off her.

I didn't know
how bad she was hurt

and I didn't know she was going
to fall in the water and drown.

You know, I needed to
get Nestor out of there.

I needed to look after my kids.

With all the craziness
in the park.

I never got back.


My client wants a deal.

What's he offering?

To plead to negligent homicide.

You're dreaming.

He's willing to do time.

Negligent homicide won't
get him more than a year.

And how much time do
you think he deserves?

What? We're charging him with man two,
that ought to give you some idea.

You guys finally got the defendant
you wanted, didn't you, huh?

Even though the kid's not Puerto Rican,
he looks like he could be Puerto Rican.

I mean, Brazil is still
Latin America, right?

So, as long as he's Latino,

you got exactly the right
kind of head on your stick.

I don't care what kind of
head I have on a stick.

All I care about is,
did he do the crime?

Yeah, right.

My brother's a follower.

He gets together with his so-called
friends, he does what they do.

Have you known your brother
to be violent before?

Have you known your brother

to be abusive or threatening
towards women before?

My brother respected women. He grew
up in a house with strong women.

He would not have
gotten away for a second

if he did anything
but respect women.

That's true for his mother,
his aunts, his cousins.

And how about women other
than the women in his family?

Nestor didn't start going out with
girls till he was 17 years old.

He was real shy.

My girlfriends would come over and he
would be too embarrassed to speak.

Finally he started going out
with this girl and it was

the sweetest thing
you ever saw.

He'd open doors for her,
hold hands with her.

I remember once coming
into the room hearing

his friends laughing at him
because he hadn't nailed her.

He shrugged, took the abuse.

All he said was
they were waiting.

I don't understand what's
happening in that courtroom.

JACK: The Defense
is presenting its case.

Well, I know that.

But they seem to be making
this Hispanic kid the victim.

Like we should all
feel sorry for him

because maybe some of his buddies made
too much fun of him when he was young.

It's not an unusual tactic for a defendant
to play to the sympathy of a jury.

JACK: Especially with the
testimony of a family member.

And what about sympathy
for our daughter?

When do we get a chance
to tell them who she was?

The system doesn't
work that way.

Well, it damn well ought to.

Before they write her off,

they got to know
how special she was.

We had to have a closed coffin.
Her face was so...

If who our daughter was

truly isn't relevant
in that courtroom,

then make that jury see

that it wasn't just Susan
who was attacked that day.

It was their daughters, too.

Their sisters, mothers.

Maybe they'll care about that.

All day these guys had been
riding me about not joinin' in.

I hung back when they
were robbing the vendors.

I hung back when they were getting
the girls wet with water bottles.

If your friends were doing
these things, why weren't you?

I didn't feel right.

I knew my friends didn't
necessarily mean to hurt anybody,

they were just getting
caught up in things.

But I didn't feel right.

When you got to the lake,
what happened?

Like I said, all day they
had been riding me, so

when I saw this
girl on a rowboat,

I figured I'd make like
a pirate and show my friends

I could do stuff, too.

And what did you do?

I jumped into the rowboat.

I tried to splash the girl
to get her wet

like my friends did
with those other girls.

I tried to get her wet so her body
would show through her clothes

like my friends did
with the other girls,

but then she stood up and
slapped me in the face.

And she was
big and strong and...

I didn't realize that when
I jumped into the boat

and the next thing I knew,

my friends were watching
me get beat up by this girl.

So I grabbed her

and I banged her head
back, back and back.

The next thing I knew, someone
was pulling me off of her

and she jumped off
the boat into the water.

When you went into
that boat, Nestor,

did you mean to hurt her?


Did there come a point on the boat when
you thought she was going to hurt you?


Did it ever occur to you that what you
were doing would bring about her death?

No. God, no.

Your witness.

Are you familiar with the New York
City subway system, Mr. Salazar?


Did you know how to get home
from Central Park on your own?


Then I wonder why
it didn't occur to you,

when your friends were doing
what they were doing, to leave?

We came together,
I figured we'd leave together.


even though you were
uncomfortable, so you say,

with your friends robbing
vendors and attacking women,

you decided to stick around

because that was less uncomfortable
for you than leaving?

I know now that
I should've left.

But if you'd left, you
wouldn't have been able

to show your friends
how tough you are.

Objection, Your Honor.


How many times

did you bang Susan Capp's head against
the side of the boat, Mr. Salazar?

I don't know.

More than once?

More than twice?


More than 10 times?


Because someone pulled you off.

I didn't know what I was doing.

You just knew that you wanted to
do it in front of your friends.

I have no further questions.

The events following
the Puerto Rican Day Parade

shocked and horrified us.

We watched young men engage in
brutal and bestial behavior.

And we felt, correctly,
that they must be punished.

We in the Puerto Rican community
felt this no less than anyone else.

We felt a particular sense
of revulsion and dread

because we knew it would be
held against all Puerto Ricans.

We knew that our parade

a joyful expression of
our culture and our pride,

would forever be linked to events
that had nothing to do with it.

Now, the Prosecution has worked
very hard to establish a link

between those events and the crime
for which the defendant is charged.

They would only be too happy to turn your
shock and your horror into a blind reflex

of vengeance directed
at the defendant.

And I'm going to be
quite honest with you.

That's a very
hard thing to resist.

But it's also the very essence of your
responsibility as jurors to do so.

There is no question that this young
man did something very wrong that day.

This woman's death is a tragedy
and it must be answered for.

But it was not manslaughter.

Nestor Salazar acted foolishly
and impulsively and negligently.

But he did not
commit manslaughter.

And your sworn oath requires that
you find him not guilty of that.

The Defense would like you to see Nestor
Salazar as a follower, a hanger on.

A timid, polite boy who was compelled
to commit this horrible crime

by the stronger personalities
of his friends.

They were the ones robbing the vendors
and sexually assaulting the women,

egging him on to commit an act of
violence wholly uncharacteristic of him.

And accidental in nature.

Well, there's no question that
what we saw in the park that day

was the behavior of a mob.

Not an Hispanic mob.
Not a Puerto Rican mob.

Just a mob.

With all the false bravado and
anonymity that it provides.

But a mob is made up of people.

And we hold people responsible

for the consequences
of their actions.

The consequence of
the defendant's action

is that a woman is dead.

We can dispense
with the discussion

of who in this group was less of a
bad person or more of a bad person.

We can focus, we must
focus, on what was done.

On what he did.

What happened that Sunday afternoon
in Central Park in June,

was the suspension
of civilization.

This is when civilization
gets restored.

This is how it gets restored.

Find him guilty
of manslaughter.

Has the jury reached a verdict?

WOMAN: We have, Your Honor.
What say you?

We find the defendant guilty of
manslaughter in the second degree.


Her parents are heading
back to Boston tonight.

I promised them we'd make arrangements
to fly them down for sentencing.

I'm surprised they're
willing to come back.

We started off with a white guy,
put a Brazilian behind bars

for what happened at the
Puerto Rican Day Parade.

New York City, the melting pot.