Barney Miller (1975–1982): Season 2, Episode 14 - Protection - full transcript

Citizens are in a panic over rumors that the 12th Precinct is being shut down. A repentant hood can't prove that he committed a crime.

Why is it so cold in here?

Ah, the furnace is busted again.

My hands are turning blue.

Mine are too, I think.

What does the thermostat say?


Maybe we ought to open a window.

Anybody got a pen that works?

Mine's frozen.

Here you go.

Oh, thanks.

How do you keep it so warm?

I've been sucking on it.

It's too cold for Puerto Ricans.

I love this weather.
Get that snap in the air.

Yeah. How is it outside?

Oh, it's beautiful, man.

Know that tree
right on the corner?

The leaves are turning red.

Both of them?

It's beautiful.

Uh. Can I help you?

Where can I go
make a confession?

Oh, right down the
street here is St. Vincent's.

Ask for Father Harmon.

No, I wanna talk to a cop.

Take your pick.

Any of you guys,
please, lock me up.

I held up a liquor
store yesterday.

Oh, sure, okay.
What's your name?

David Salas.

David Salas. You have
the right to remain silent.

Otherwise, anything
you say... I know all that.

If you don't have an attorney...
I know. I know! I'm telling you,

I hit this place on
Second Avenue yesterday.

Cotterman's. On the corner of...

Yeah, yeah, we know
Cotterman's, we know it very well.

Anybody hear from
Cotterman yesterday?

Not me, Barney.

Wojo, go check it out.

Uh, listen, while you're
at it have him come down

just in case we
need identification.

Wanna step over
here please, Mr. Salas?

Hey, Barney, I gave it to
maintenance pretty good.

I told them you said if
they can't fix the old furnace,

go out and buy a new one.

Wow, man, you know,

you're beautiful
when you're angry.

I, uh, I must say,
we don't get many

thieves like you, David.

I'm trying to save my skin, man.

Somebody gonna be lookin'
for me for knocking off that store.

Well, we would have been
looking for you eventually, yeah.

I'd rather be in your jail
than where they'd put me.

Who are "they"?

Well, you know who "they" is.

The guys who protect
the store owners.

That's us. That's our job.

Come on.

I hit Cotterman's twice before.

You see, we were
looking for you already.

Are you saying that
Cotterman is paying protection?

Him and everybody else around.

We haven't had that little
squeeze in quite awhile.

I guess they don't have much
choice with you guys leaving.

Us? Leaving?

Yeah, you know, when
they close the precinct down.

Hey, man, you don't know
what you're talkin' about.

Where'd you get a
crazy story like that?

It's all over the street.

Word's got it that the city's
gonna board this place up.

That's the most ridiculous
thing I heard of in my life.

Ha, right, Barney?

I haven't heard
anything about it.

You know, they did
close the 33rd last week.

Oh, that's a big precinct
with a tremendous overhead.

The city stands to save a
substantial amount of money

closing the 33rd. This place?

Doesn't cost anything
to run this place.

Yeah, that makes sense.

Hey, uh, maintenance?

Uh, Yemana.

Forget about what I said
about the furnace, huh?

Are you kidding,
it's beautiful up here.

Something burning?

Yeah, dirt.

They must've got
the heater working.

Maybe instead of boarding us
up, they're going to burn us down.

Wouldn't they notify us first?

Wait a second. Some
stuff came in. I'll check.

Don't worry. The termites
are eating this place so fast,

they won't have
time to burn it down.

Good morning, Cotterman.
Good morning, Fish.

Some cold weather
we're having, eh?

Ha, ha, ha. You detectives.

Always the sharp eye for detail.

I prefer this kind of
weather, don't you?

At our age, it's very reassuring

to see your own breath.

Good morning, Mr. Cotterman.

Oh, Captain Miller,
always a pleasure.

I'm sorry to bring
you down here,

but, uh, we had a report
that your store was held up.

On the average, once every
four months since I opened.

Just another typical New York

success story.

I'm talking about, uh, recently.


Oh, that recently.

Uh, yesterday. Let me see,

I was out for a while
in the afternoon.

It was morning.

Pardon me?

This is Mr. Salas.

Mr. Salas here maintains that
he held your store up yesterday.

You recognize him?

Forgive me, he looks
familiar, but I'm not sure.


"Give me everything
in the register

or I'll blow your head off."

So many people come
in and out. I don't know.

I took 62 bucks from you,

and I've hit your
place twice before.

See, a cardinal
rule of business:

give them what they want,
they keep coming back.

Mr. Cotterman, did this man,
or any man for that matter,

hold up your store yesterday?

I haven't reported
a robbery, have I?

Apparently not.
Haven't I always before?

I must admit, you're one of
our more reliable customers.

What's he talking about?

Tell him I did it.

Give me a break.

I just wanna go to jail.

Mr. Cotterman, we
can't help Mr. Salas here

unless you press charges.

I'd like to help you, but...

Let me ask you another
question, Mr. Cotterman.

Do you know how a
protection racket works?

What do I pay taxes for?

I beg your pardon?
What do I pay taxes for?

To have the police protect me.

All these years, I've been
paying protection to you.

But what am I supposed
to do if you're not here.

Supposing you and
your men should leave,

I'd still be here
with all this crime.

We're not planning
on going anywhere.

And my father didn't
plan on dying either,

may his soul rest in peace.

We're talking about extortion,
Mr. Cotterman. That is a felony.

I'm talking about
survival, captain.

What is that, chopped liver?

You can't give us
an identification?

I can't.

Okay. Thank you.

Thank you for your concern.


and I believe I speak for
the entire neighborhood,

you will be missed.

If the whole neighborhood
knows about it, it must be true.

Take it easy, take it easy.

It's just the kind of rumor that
would be spread by some hoodlum

whose trying to set
up a protection racket.

Yeah, Barney's right.

I mean, I don't
believe it anyway.

They'd never bust up
a great team like us.

Would they?

Wait a second.
Some stuff came in.

I'll check.

In the meantime, Chano,

I'm afraid we gotta
let Mr. Salas go home.

Don't listen to him. He's lying.

Give me a piece of
paper. I'll sign a confession.

Unfortunately, it wouldn't
stand up in a court of law.

We don't have any
evidence to support the crime.

Come to think of it,

we don't have a crime
to support the evidence.

What, are you crazy?

I got priors as
long as your arm.

You can't let a guy
like me walk the streets.

Uh, we also can't keep an
innocent man in jail. Come on.

What are you
giving me, red tape?

Railroad me.

That won't be
necessary, Mr. Salas.

We know where you
are if we need you.

Come on, Mr. Salas.

We have a lot of work to
do. Goodbye and good luck.

You ain't gonna
get away with this.

I ain't finished with you yet.

Hey, you threatening
a police officer?

Yeah, what'll it get me?

How about a kick in the pants?

Come on.

Come on, will you
please? Go, go.

All right. Chano. Harris.

Let's hit the streets.

I want you to talk to
all the shopkeepers.

Find out what's with
this protection business.

Tell Kogan I want
him to tail that kid.

I wanna know what he does,

and I wanna know
what's done to him.

You know what I think,
Barney? I think the kid did it.

I think he held up Cotterman's.

I think Cotterman
is paying protection.

And I think they're gonna
put us out of business.

What do you want to
do, go to the beach?

No. I'll go out
there in the cold

and do my job that
nobody appreciates.

But I'm going to be mad!

Because I'll be
happier that way.

I think I'll go along,

It's gonna be warmer
near him than it is in here.

What's going to
happen to this city if...

If the police go
out of business?

Crime will run rampant.

There will be
chaos in the streets.

People will live in fear
behind locked doors,

and it will be every
man for himself.

That's the way it is now.

It can't get any worse,

let's try to make
it a little better

while we still have the time.

That's what they said to
the maids on the Titanic.

Shipboard humor.

You guys can just laugh
and joke all you want,

but there are people out there,
and they still depend on us,

and they need us.

I don't care if they close
this place down or not.

I'm not ready to turn this city
over to a bunch of hoodlums

and rip-off artists.

So that's the Scarlet Pimpernel.

Hey, Fish, you want some coffee?

Hm, hm.

Coffee. Fresh and hot.

Hey, don't go to
sleep. You'll die.

It says here the president is
going to make a speech today

about whether he's going to keep
New York from going bankrupt.

Well, if he don't,
the Arabs will.

They offered to
lend us $5 billion.

They're smart.

Where there's this much
garbage there's gotta be oil.

Wojo check in yet?

Not yet.

Did he say where he was going?

Not a word.

Oh, man, I tell
ya, It's really a trip.

You can feel it out... You
can just feel it in the air.

He means beside the smoke
and the soot and the grease.

Now, come on, man,
I'm talkin' about tension.

Fear, foreboding, uncertainty.

Didn't you go out
of the building?

You're saying, uh,
what the kid said is true?

That they... They're paying off?

Oh, yeah, they're paying off.

Fifty bucks a month,
75 bucks a month,

100 a month. But
nobody's saying to whom,

and they're not gonna complain.

All up and down the
streets all I can hear

is that we're on our way out.

Isn't that something?
We're always the last to hear.

People are asking when we're
gonna start our garage sale.

Hi, fellas.

Hi, Inspector.

How's, uh, everything
going with you fellas?


How about yourself?

Fine, fine.

How's everything
with you, Barney?


Way to go.

How's the family, Nick?

I ain't got a family.


Something troubling
you, inspector?


You look as though you
have something on your mind.

Would you like to come in the
office and discuss it privately?

Oh, no. No, that... That
won't be necessary, Barney.

I always felt that I can
talk openly and honestly

in front of the men.

Unless, of course, something
happened that might cause

unnecessary anguish or concern.


Could we talk in
your office, Barney?

Well, Barney, it's all over.

They're closing up the precinct.

The rumors were true, huh?

Yeah. Looks like they marked you

for the big swinging iron ball.

They're taking
the building down?


Well, Uncle Sam won't come up

with any money for the city.

They gotta do something.

They're gonna shove a cork in
the end of the Holland Tunnel,

forget all about us over here.

Ha, ha. By God, they
wouldn't get away with it

if Jimmy Walker was alive.


Barney, Wojo's back.

He brought in Anthony Barrelli.

Tony "The Emperor" Barrelli?

That's him.

I thought he quit the
rackets, what, 30 years ago.

He did.

I think Wojo's been playing

in the syndicate files again.

Sometimes that man's enthusiasm

is depressing.

Go home. I don't need you.

Go home. Go home.

Mr. Barrelli, would you step
right over this way please,

and... And make
yourself comfortable.

Comfortable? Yeah.

Where? Right here.

You know something?

Maybe... Maybe
honesty is the best policy,

but you always wind up

with a desk like that.

Barn, I think I got
a great lead here.

You know who that is?

That's Anthony Barrelli.

Well, I think we can put
this whole protection thing

right in his lap.

He was, uh, chief of all
the syndicate operations

in the whole neighborhood.

That was in 1942.

Didn't you read the, uh, files?

Yeah, but Barney,
these guys never retire.

I mean, look at that hood there.

He says it's his nurse.

Bad taste is not
against the law, Wojo.

Yeah, but... As long
as you got him here,

see what you can find out.

♪ Not a soul ♪

♪ Down on the corner ♪

♪ That's a pretty certain sign ♪

♪ Those iron balls ♪

♪ Are breaking up ♪


I don't know nothing
about no protection.

I work in my little garden.

What kind of garden?

A garden.




A garden.

Mr. Barrelli, our records
show that you were

a syndicate chief in 1942.


I don't care about 1942.

You want to hear about 1923?

You're not
cooperating, Mr. Barrelli.

Sure, you don't want
to hear the good stuff.

1923. Sicily, Palermo,

when the people
came to us for help,

we give them help.

It was like one big,
happy familia, huh?


There was... There was me,

there was Don
Chuffalo, Don Cavelli,

and Don...

What's his name, the short guy?

That... That was before
my time, Mr. Barrelli.

Everything was
before your time, kids.

I have some bad news.

According to Luger,

they're gonna tear
this place down.

What about the president?

Wasn't he supposed
to talk about us tonight?

Somehow, I don't
feel too confident

that he's going
to dump the city,

but he's gonna save the 12th.

Oh, man, this is too much.

One day we're in,
one day we're out.

You know, it's like being
in London during the Blitz.

Well, Barney, bye, good luck,

I'll see you around
someplace, you know.

The rest of you fellas,
good luck to you,

and know you'll
always be a credit to me

as you have been to
everybody who came before.

Ciao, ciao.

So long, beautiful.

Mr. Barrelli, this information
is really important.

Now, try to think.

Mr. Barrelli, we're interested
in a protection racket.

Do you know anything about it?

Uh, I remember the name.

Now I remember.

Don Corleone.

Or was that the movie?

Ah, they don't even have
the same names no more.

They don't even know
how to speak the language.

They know nothing about
the... The old country.

And the people don't
show them no respect.

No respect.

And now they got all
these funny names.





Go home. I don't need you.


Where did he go?

Maybe he went home.


Hey, the president's in
the middle of his speech.

Did he say anything
about us yet?

He didn't mention my name.

And I am prepared
to veto any bill

that has as its purpose

a federal bail-out
of New York City

to prevent a default.

I'm glad I didn't vote for him.


The former 12th
Precinct, Harris.


Yeah, but the
burglar isn't still there.

Okay, yeah, we'll
send somebody over.


Anybody wanna
check out a burglary?

What are we gonna
do if we catch him?

Rent him a room?

In the event of default,

the federal government
will work with the court

to assure that police, and fire,

and other essential
services for the protection

of life and property in New York

are maintained.

Hey. Hey, how 'bout that, huh?

Hey, hey. What's the matter?

You find Jimmy Hoffa?

That's right, see that?

Now, that's what
I call a president.

Hey, man, it's a
clean-cut dude, baby.

I mean, nobody
tells him what to do.

He knows what he's
doing every minute.

Take it easy. Don't
get too excited.

I'd rather hear it
from an official source

a little closer to home.

Okay, you're free to
go now, Mr. Barrelli.

Thank you. Mm-hm.

You know, you're
a very nice boy.

What's your name?



Just like it's spelled.




Thank... Thank you again,
Mr. Barrelli. Thank you.

Thank you, Mr... Wojciehowicz.


Captain Miller, gentlemen.

Mr. Cotterman, what
can we do for you?

I've been thinking
about our conversation,

and I believe that every citizen

has a responsibility
to his neighbor...

Your store was
held up yesterday?

You can say that again.

Now, that's what I call
a source closer to home.

What's more, I got
a suspect for you.

Never mind suspect.
He was the one.

And you want to know about
extortion money for protection?

Now that you mention it.

There is no two ways about it.

You'll sign a complaint?

I'll get you a petition.

Thank you. Don't mention it.

Hey, by the way, did you
hear the president's speech?

Yes, I did.

A very responsible man.

Gentlemen, we have
some work to do.

Chano, Harris, let's
go pick up David Salas.

Yes, sir.

Wojciehowicz, would you
take Mr. Cotterman's statement?

Man, you know, there's some days

when a man just feels
like going out there

and doing things.

Sure glad he feels
that way about it,

because it makes him a
very exciting person to be with.

Yes, we heard it, inspector.

Oh, please, don't be
embarrassed, inspector.

The strongest of us
weep on occasion.

I don't care what I said.

If you can't fix it, go
out and buy a new one.

Nick, go into our felony files

and pull out everything
we got on anybody named

Dugan, Bigelow or Feldman.

Trust me.