All in the Family (1971–1979): Season 6, Episode 12 - Archie's Civil Rights - full transcript

Archie comes home with a wounded wrist and the news that he was mugged. He tells Edith and Gloria that, while driving his cab, a young man pulled a switch blade on him and demanded money. Archie fought him off with a small teargas sprayer that he got from a magazine. A police officer comes around and begins asking questions, and shocks Archie when he informs him that it is illegal for him to possess a teargas sprayer and gives him a summons to appear in court. Later, in court Archie tries to explain his case to the judge (who is black) and is informed that using the sprayer could cost him up to seven years in prison. He is also surprised to learn that the mugger was caught but set free because the cop didn't read him his rights in English. Also, cop is at fault because he searched the Bunker house for the sprayer without a warrant. The case is dismissed.

♪ Boy, the way
Glenn Miller played

♪ Songs that made the hit parade

♪ Guys like us, we had it made

♪ Those were the days

♪ And you knew
where you were then

♪ Girls were girls
and men were men

BOTH: ♪ Mister,
we could use a man

♪ Like Herbert Hoover again

♪ Didn't need no welfare state

♪ Everybody pulled his weight

BOTH: ♪ Gee, our
old LaSalle ran great

♪ Those were the days ♪

Here we are, some
nice fresh donuts.

Mmm, you got some
more coffee, Ma?

Oh, Gloria, you shouldn't
drink so much coffee.

It might make the baby nervous.


Oh! Oh! Oh, Ma,
the baby just kicked.

There, you see?

The coffee woke the baby up.

Oh, boy, do I miss Michael.

Oh, when's he coming
back from Albany?

Well, the teacher's
conference is over on Monday.

Hmm, wonder what
he's doing today.

I know how we can find out.

We can look at his horoscope.

Oh, Ma, you don't really
believe in astrology, do you?

Oh, no.

But it's fun to know
what's gonna happen to you

even if it don't.

What's Mike's sign?


Oh, here it is.

"Aquarius. This will
be an exciting day

"and a good opportunity
for a new romance."

Oh! Unless you're attending

a teacher's
conference in Albany.

And your name is Michael Stivic.

Nice try, Ma.

What does Daddy's say?

Let's find out what kind of a
night he had driving Munson's cab.

Yeah, what's his sign?

Taurus, the bull.

Well, actually, he's on the cusp

between Gemini, the
twins, and Taurus, the bull.

But he's a lot
closer to the bull.


Oh, here it is.

"The Taurus
person," that's Archie,

"will find this day
dull and uneventful,

"but may experience
excitement in new encounters."

Edith, I just got mugged.

Oh, Archie! Did you say mugged?

ARCHIE: I got to get to
the kitchen. To the kitchen.

Are you all right?
Water for this.

Water for this. Oh, Archie!

some water running right away.

Oh, did he hurt you bad?

Muggers never
hurt you good, Edith.

Look at the slice he
took out of my hand there.

Maybe you should
see a doctor. Oh, yeah.

One attempted robbery
a night is enough for me.

Does it hurt?

Only when you squeeze it, Edith!

Get something for
it there, will you?

Oh, yeah, some alcohol,
and then we'll put iodine on it.

Or Mercurochrome,
and then we'll...

The longer you talk,
the quicker I get lockjaw.

I'll see if I can
find the first-aid kit.

Yeah, meantime, I'll
stand here and bleed.

Daddy, let me wash that off
for you. Yeah, do something.

Hey, could I get gangrune
out of that, little girl?

I don't think so.

Daddy, would you recognize
the mugger if you saw him again?

Oh, no, no. It all
happened too fast.

But I'll tell you one thing
that nearly broke my heart.

He was a white guy.

Ow! Jeez!

Daddy, how would you
describe the mugger?

Very, very unfriendly.

Here we are. Sit down,
Archie. Over here.

Now, this is
gonna hurt a little.

Then don't do it. It
already hurts a little, Edith.

All right, now.

Say, "Cheese."


Say, "Cheese."

What the hell do you think
you're doin', takin' a picture?

I want you to be smilin'

so I won't feel like I'm
hurtin' you so much.

Will you just get that on there?

Oh, jeez!

Oh, Arch, you said it.

Ouch. Oh! Oh, never mind!

Oh, do you wanna hold
your hand in a sling?

No, I just got a cut. I
wasn't hit by mortar fire.

Daddy, how did it all happen?

I was driving my cab on
Skillman Avenue, see?

I was headin' for Bridge Plaza.

So at the corner of 46th Street,
I pick up this young, white guy.

He didn't look like no troublemaker,
of course, except, he was young.

Daddy, lots of people in
New York are white and young.

Oh, not anymore.


I seen he was wearin' this
religious medal around his neck.

Well, now, can you
imagine a guy with...

Oh! In high school, I got
a religious medal once.

It was a St. Christopher's medal

from Russell Lebsfelder.

St. Christopher is the
patron saint of travelers,

but he ain't no more.

And when they decided

that Christopher
wasn't really a saint,

lots of people
stopped wearin' 'em,

and they started
buyin' insurance.

Well, that's what I
read in the paper.

what she read in the paper.

So, what did the mugger do?

The mugger gets into
the back of my cab.

I says, "Where to, buddy?"
and he says, "Stick 'em up."

What part of town is that?

That's a foreign language,
Edith, for, "Stick 'em up."

Did he have a gun?

No, he had a switchblade.

Oh, that's illegal. Yeah.

It's against the law
to carry a switchblade.

Oh, I read that
in the paper, too.

I got news for you.

Almost anything a mugger
does is against the law.

What did you do?

He asked me for my wallet,

so I reach inside my coat,

I take out my little tear
gas squirter, and I go...

NOISE) Right in the peepers.

Ooh, tear gas in the eyes.

You can't blind them by
hitting them in the chest.

Well, then what did he do?

He hopped out of the cab
and he run up Skillman Avenue

like a chicken with
the Colonel behind him.

I hope you didn't run after him.

Certainly did not, 'cause if
I'd have caught up with him,

I'd have beat him to a pulk.

And that ain't no
business of mine.

That's what we got
police brutality for.

Didn't you call the police?

Certainly. I called
the station house,

I reported a muggin'
like a good citizen,

I left my name and address
in case there was a reward.

Listen, Daddy, I'm gonna run home and
call Michael and tell him what happened.

Now, let this be
a warning to you.

Driving that cab is dangerous.

I'll be all right, little girl.

Next time a mugger
flags me down,

I'll tell him, "Go
stab a bus driver."

Say hello to Mike for me.

Bye. Oh, Archie,
you've had a long night.

Why don't you come in here?

I'll make you a nice breakfast,

and you lie down on the couch.

I hate that couch. It's got a
hill in the middle of it there.


I wonder what that could be.

Well, it sounds a lot
like the front door, Edith.

Oh, I'll get it.

No, no, no, wait a minute.
Let's see who it is, first.

And if it's the Salivation
Army or Irene Lorenzo,

we all pretend we died in here.

Oh, jeez, it's a flatfoot.

Oh, he's probably
here about the muggin'.

Archie, you shouldn't
call a policeman a flatfoot.

It ain't nice.

Oh, to hell with him. Where
was he when I needed him?

He was probably friskin'
some topless waitress.

EDITH: Open the door.

Shh! Shh!

Well, well, well, well, one of
New York's finest. Step right in.

Archie Bunker? Yeah.

Officer Gorsky. How are you?

How do you do, Officer?

Well, make yourself at home
there. Sit down if you want.

You guys ain't had a day's
rest since your last strike.

Don't stand there, Edith.
Get the officer some coffee.

I'll make some fresh.

Use up what's there.

Well, I guess you come
about the muggin', huh?

Yeah, I'm here to
complete the report.

Yeah, well, I hope
you catch the bum.

There's too many of
them guys runnin' around.

You know what I'd
do with all of them?

I'd tie 'em up on a cannibal
island and throw ketchup on 'em.

According to your statement,
the incident happened after dark.

You said the suspect
was a Caucasian?

No, he was white.

No, well, he could've had
some colored mixed up.

But, I mean, anything can happen
nowadays, you know what I mean?

He... Yeah, he could have
been one of them macaroons.

Well, do you have a
more positive identification?

Uh, what about
scars, Mr. Bunker?

Well, only this one here.

We're tryin' to
identify him, not you.

Yeah, well, I don't know.

He was a young white guy, he
was carryin' a switchblade knife.

They all carry
them switchblades.

That's why I carry my little
tear gas squirter with me.

Tear gas? Oh, you
got one of those, huh?

Oh, you're damn right.

Had to fill out all
the forms for it, huh?

No, no, I got it
out of a magazine,

you know, in the
back with all them ads

for blackhead squeezers
and pimple crushers?

And them gadgets, you know,
for clippin' hairs out of the nose.

Here we are.

How do you like your coffee?

Oh, black, please.

Would you like a
donut? Oh, thank you.

Uh, Mr. Bunker,

this, uh, tear gas squirter,
what does it look like?

Oh, well, it looks like a
little fountain pen there.

It's a very handy little gadget.

You keep it in a glove
compartment of your car

or your inside pocket there.

I'm surprised you
cops ain't got them,

especially when you're patrollin' up
in Central Park dressed like a dame,

waitin' for some guy
to rape you, you know?

I tell you, one squirt of this will
take the urge out of anybody.

Uh, is this it?

Yeah, yeah. You
find that in my coat?

Yeah. It's cute, huh?

Well, we got ourselves
a law-breaker.

Well, if you caught the guy, why
didn't you tell me when you come in?

Not him, you.



Wait a minute, wait a
minute, wait a minute.

What are you talkin' about?

You broke the law, Mr. Bunker.

Hold it, hold it, hold it.

What are you tellin'
me, I mugged myself?

The mugger is
still on the loose,

but you, sir, are in violation

of New York City
code, section 436-5.0.

I quote,

"It shall be unlawful for
any person to possess

"any lacrimating,
asphyxiating, incapacitating,

"or deleterious gas or gases

"or liquids or liquids
without permit."

Lacravating or finixiating?

How the hell can I break
a law I can't even spell?

You did,

and you're in a
lot of trouble, sir.

You can pay a fine up to $500

or three months in the cooler.

Holy cow.

I'm gonna issue you a
citation to appear in court.

You have a right
to remain silent...

Oh, listen... Well, why
should he be silent?

He didn't do nothin' wrong.

He didn't break no law.
I didn't do nothin', here.

I'm earnin' a livin'. But he
was just protectin' himself.

He was defendin' himself.
He might have been killed.

You're a policeman. You're
supposed to protect people.

And what are you doin'?
You gave him a donut.

Give me that back!



Oh, Archie, what are you doin'?

I'm watchin' a
monster eat New York.

Oh. Oh, that ain't no good.

The monster don't
think so neither.

Well, you ought
to get some sleep.

Oh, yeah, yeah.
So you'll be rested

I can't sleep. For
court tomorrow.

Come on in the kitchen. I'll
give you a nice glass of milk.

Oh, no, no, stay with the beer.

The milk will have
me trottin' all night.

Maybe a snack
will help you sleep.

You don't seem to understand
what's gonna happen here, Edith.

If I'm convicted, jeez,
I could lose my job.

Maybe I won't get my
hack license renewed.

I ain't a criminal! I
ain't even the type!

Well, of course you
ain't a criminal, Archie.

You couldn't be a criminal.

Criminals have to
break open safes

and commit forgery
and cut the right wires

so the burglar alarm
system won't ring.

You don't know how to
do none of those things.

I didn't say I was too
stupid to be a criminal,

I... I just said I
wasn't the type.

Hi. Oh, hi.

What are you doin'
up there, little girl?

I couldn't sleep, either.

I've been wonderin',

how can it be against the law

for my father to protect
himself from a mugger?

Yeah, don't make no sense to me.

Well, nothin' makes
sense in this country

since General Eisenhower
was sleepin' in the White House.


what you need is a good
lawyer to protect your civil rights.

Ah, who needs a lawyer?
Drink the milk here.

Civil rights ain't for
law-abidin' citizens, anyhow.

They're for springin'
your pinko submersives

and all 'em un-Americans

who are always tryin' to
force peace down our throats.

Well, what are you gonna do,
Daddy, be your own lawyer?

Well, why not?

All he has to do is tell them
he was defendin' himself.

Everybody's got
a right to do that.

Yeah, I mean, jeez, even the
animals got a right to do that.

The tigers do it
with their claws,

and porcupines do it
with their porcuprickers,

and the skunks, they
squirt their enemies

just like I done.


Look at all the vultures here.

You can always count
on a mob for a hangin'.

Daddy, it's not gonna
help if you act so scared.

Yeah, listen, little girl, when
the judge comes out, see,

and looks at you, I want you
to stand around this way, see?

So that he can see I'm soon
to be a nice grandpa, see?

I think we'd better sit down.

Yeah, yeah, go ahead, sit down.

Good morning.

Good morning.

Don't talk to him.
Just follow me.

All right, go on, little
girl. Get over there.

Daddy? Yeah.

Is that the cop
that did it? Yeah.

Don't look at him, damn it.

Archie, shh!

Don't swear when
you talk to the judge.

Just smile and be nice.

Oh, jeez, Edith, smiles
don't win your cases.

You wanna win a case,

you slip the judge
$50 under the bench.

Oh, no!

It is true.

This court is in session.

Judge Frances
MacKenzie presiding.

Please rise.

This guy MacKenzie,

probably had a bad
night and a lousy breakfast

and sufferin' from hemorrhoids.

I'm gonna get 90 days
in the clinker for sure.


Holy cow, it's the
rock pile for me.

BAILIFF: Please be seated.

What do you call a lady judge?

Your Honor. No.

Well, madam, I guess.

No, madams is the
one she sends up.

Will Mr. Sloane present
the first case, please?

Thank you, Your Honor.
"One Archibald Bunker

"is charged with violating the

administrative code
of the city of New York,

"by possessing a
tear gas weapon."

Is Archibald Bunker
in the courtroom?

Yeah, I'm over here, Mrs. Judge.

Approach the bench, please.

Yeah, I'm approachin'
now. Yeah, here I am.

What do you plead?

Uh, guilty with an explanation.

What is the explanation?

I ain't guilty.

You can't plead
guilty and not guilty.

It must be one or the other.

Yeah, I know, but it ain't a
clear case of black and white.

Nothing personal there.

You see, us cabbies,

we... we got to defend
ourselves somehow, you know?

And these muggers,
they carry knives, I mean,

they don't fight according to the
rules of Marcus Pillsbury, you know.

I mean, they stab you. Look
at the dig this guy gave me.

And he could cut me in
worse places, you know?

I mean, a cabbie could wind
up the night shift singin' soprano,

if you get my meanin' here.

Your Honor, this is merely an
arraignment to set the date for trial.

Mr. Bunker is already
pleading his case.

And very colorfully,

if you'll pardon the expression.

Say whatever you like, Judge.

Proceed. Yeah.

Well, you know, I'm a law-abidin'
citizen, and I wouldn't hurt a fly

even if it was drinkin' my beer.

I'm a family man. Here's
the family, over here.

Over here.

Here's the wife sittin'
here. Stand up, will you?

She talks a lot, but there
ain't no harm in her at all.

Sit down.

And here's the daughter
over here. Up, huh?

Hurry up, the two
of you, will you?

Here, there she is.

And, you see, uh, she's, uh...

Face there.

She's, right now, she's pregnant
with child there, Your Honor, see?

And, uh, it's a legal child, which
is a good thing for nowadays.

(STUTTERING) Now, we're
gonna name that child Archie

after me, you see?

Unless you turn my
name into a number,

and that'd be a
hell of a disgrace.

Of course, we could name
him Junior, after Sammy Davis.

Who's a very good friend of
mine. He was in my house.

Mr. Bunker, do you
have an attorney?

He seems to be defending
himself, Your Honor.

Like I was defendin'
myself in my cab.

Now, you must plead
guilty or innocent,

and I'll set a date for trial.

And, Mr. Bunker, I
suggest you hire a lawyer.

Yeah, but, Judge, what
do I need a lawyer for?

I don't even know
why I'm in court,

just because I squirted
tear gas at a mugger.

You mean you actually
used that weapon?

Damn right!



You were only charged
with possession.

This is a new
ballgame, Your Honor.

Using a dangerous weapon
is assault. That's a felony.

ARCHIE: Wait a minute.

With a possible penalty
of seven years in prison.

Seven years?

Oh, Archie! ARCHIE: Seven years!

Seven years! Did you
hear? Seven years?

For self-defendin'
myself against a criminal?

Now, I have no sympathy
for criminals, Mr. Bunker,

but the law is the law,

and it applies to both of you.

Yeah, yeah, but, Mrs. Judge, you got a
criminal runnin' around on the loose there,

and me, I'm a
law-abidin' citizen,

and I'm up the creek
in a boat with a hole.

As Mr. Bunker's daughter,
I've got to say something.

That woman's out
of order, Your Honor.

Well, only for the
next few weeks,

then she'll be back
to normal again.


Please be seated.

Officer Gorsky,

I see in your file on this case,

that the assailant,
one Yannis Predreski,

has been apprehended and
has made a full confession.

Yes, Your Honor.

Good, lock him up in Dannemora.

We can't. He's been released.

He's been released? Why?

Because the arresting officer
violated proper procedure.

He read Mr. Predreski's
rights to him in English,

and Mr. Predreski doesn't
understand or speak English.

Well, no bum that can't speak perfect
English ought to stay in this country!

He ought to be de-exported
the hell out of here!

I mean...

Listen, Mrs. Judge, some system
of judisprudence we got here.

I mean, he's a
foreign-born criminal

runnin' around on the loose.

And the law is comin' down
on a native-born American,

and a veteran American at that,

with a butt full of
shrapnel from Italy.

That's true, Judge.

That's why I ain't took
my wife dancin' in 30 years.

That's right, Madam Judge,

and... and Archie
has a purple heart

and a good conduct medal.

Mrs. Bunker,
you're out of order.

No, she ain't pregnant.
It's the daughter.

Excuse me.

Your Honor, I may
be out of order,

but do you call this justice?

My husband and I have
given a lot of thought

to civil liberties,
human rights,

equal treatment for all.

And now you free a criminal

and deny my father, an
honest, law-abiding citizen,

the right to defend himself.

Twenty two months
in Italy, Judge.



Young lady,

your father's civil rights have
been scrupulously guarded.

Without the protection
of his civil rights,

Officer Gorsky could
have broken into your home

and seized that weapon
without a warrant.


Where is the warrant?

Well, uh, Your Honor,
there wasn't any.

I, uh, wasn't aware that
there was an illegal weapon.

I confiscated it because we
wouldn't have a case without it.

I wasn't aware that the
accused had used a weapon.


did Mr. Bunker
volunteer that weapon?

I got it out of a magazine.

No, Daddy, she means,

did you give the officer
your tear gas squirter?

I turned it right over to him.

No, you didn't.

No, I didn't do that.

The officer walked
all around our house

peeking in the drawers
and in the closet

till he found it in the
pocket of Archie's coat.

Without a warrant?

You don't get a warrant
with them squirt guns.

They either break or they don't.

I... I did not have a search
warrant, Your Honor.

Case dismissed. Huh?

Daddy! You're free!
Oh, you mean us?

I'm sorry for
interrupting, Your Honor.

Wait a minute, wait
a minute. Hey, listen.

Judge, I don't understand.

You mean to say that
you're gonna turn me loose

because this cop
searched my house?

Yes, because to search
your house without a warrant

was in violation
of your civil rights.

You ain't particularly
smart, are you?

Mr. Bunker,

the law does permit criminals
to go free now and then,

but that's the price we pay

to protect
everyone's civil rights.

Well, Judge, you
probably know your law.

All I got to say is
thank you very much.

I'm certainly glad to be free.

And if ever you
need anything, Judge,

like if you need a
taxicab in a hurry,

you just call me up,
I'll flash right over,

take you anywheres
you want for nothin'.

We'll leave the flag
up. Who's to know?


I didn't say nothin'.

Okay, let's go.

Mr. Bunker. Oh, yes, Judge, yes?

Take care of your wounded hand.

Oh, yeah, sure.
Thank you very much.

the Family was recorded on tape

before a live audience.