Law & Order (1990–2010): Season 9, Episode 2 - DWB - full transcript

White police officers are accused of beating and dragging an African American man to his death. McCoy tries to prosecute while facing pressure from Federal prosecutors, who want to make a deal with one of the guilty parties.

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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.

DAVID: If it's got two
heads, then we throw it back.

We throw everything back.

You don't actually think we're gonna
eat anything that comes out of there.

then, what's the point?

You'd rather be having
pancakes with your in-laws?

It's a sport, David.
It's like flirting.

Well, listen, maybe you
throw everything back.

What are you doing?

Ah, I'm thirsty.

Oh, jeez. You got
your cell phone?

Yeah. Why?

Call 911.

Oh, God.

He was found over there.

The blood trail goes
back along here.

We found his watch right there.

Pieces of his shirt here.
This is where it starts.

About a quarter
mile. Tire prints?

We're working on it.

Oh, great.

Who invited them?

Somebody at the hospital
must've dropped a dime.

You better get used
to having them around.

You got the watch?

An old Bulova.

2:36. Stopped ticking
when he took a licking.


SUMMERS: The scalp at the
back of his head was torn off.

He has deep abrasions
all the way down his back.

From being dragged. Uh-huh.

I found fibers imbedded in these
ligature wounds around the ankles.

A copolymer of adipic acid
and hexamethylene-diamine.

Something the space
shuttle brought home?

Nylon rope.

Ten cents a yard at
any hardware store.

What's this on his hands? Paint?

Yes. And it was on his
pants, around the knees.

White reflective paint. The
same grade used for road work.

How long does it take to dry?

Mmm, 30 minutes to an hour, depending
on the humidity and the road surface.

VAN BUREN: Broken left
cheekbone, fractured skull,

two cracked ribs, spiral fracture
of the wrist, ruptured bladder...

Some party, huh?

You run his prints? No hits.

I thought for sure. He's
got a scar on his right side.

Could be a knife wound.

Or he had his appendix out.

Anyway, we sent him
down to Missing Persons.

Well, hurry up and
give him a name.


Briscoe. Yeah,
hang on. Lieutenant...

Van Buren.

Uh, I'll be right there.

The party's just
getting started.

What could possibly have a
higher priority than a hate crime?

If I have to call up the Mayor
again and stir up the pot...

Let's not jump to conclusions.

We don't know what
kind of crime it is yet.

DEMPSEY: A black man
was beaten to a bloody pulp

and dragged a quarter of a mile
behind a vehicle over a dirt road.

You call that a love crime?

I want assurances that
Lieutenant Van Buren

will get all the man
power she needs.

All she has to do
is pick up the phone.

In Jasper, Texas, they had armed
black people marching in the streets.

I wouldn't suggest that anyone
do that, Reverend Dempsey.

In this city, we arrest people
who carry firearms in public.

You just arrest the crackers
that killed this brother.

We put these stripes down
just after 1:00, Saturday night.

Now, if you could only get
people to drive in between 'em.


I got a left partial
palm print here,

and a full palm print there.

Looks like a winner.

Let's get some people
down here, start a canvass.

I couldn't hear anything. I was
sleeping. I took my hearing aid out.

How about you, ma'am?

All I could hear
was her snoring.

Every time she has a
cocktail after 10:00, she snores.

It's not that. It's
that air conditioning.

She turns it up so
it's like an icebox.

You'd think we
owned stock in Con Ed.

Can you think of anybody
who might have been

out on the street
late Saturday night?

Like, maybe one of your
neighbors walks his dog?

Uh, there's a black man
always on the corner.

He cleans windshields, he
sweeps up. Oh, uh, what's his name?

Raymond. His
nickname is Ray-Ray.

Oh, right. Ray-Ray.

Nobody on the
corner like that today.

Because he's in the hospital.

He tried to wash
someone's windshield.

The driver shot him in the foot.

BRISCOE: So last Saturday night,

you were working the
corner of 95th and Second?

Who said that?

Mr. Davis, you're
not in any trouble.

We just want to know if you
saw anything unusual on 95th.

I don't know. Like what?

Like a fight.

One of the guys
involved was a black man,

mid-forties, about 5'10",

wearing light gray
pants and a blue shirt.

Uh-uh. I ain't seen
nothing like that.

Maybe you'd be more
comfortable talking to us in private.

I ain't talking to you. I didn't see
no beating. Just leave me alone.

You're not under
arrest, Mr. Davis.

You're here as a witness.

I didn't witness anything,
I keep telling them.

They think you're holding back.

And they're usually
right about these things.

Well, I ain't telling
them nothing.

Right. We'll catch
up on our reading.


They pulled this
brother out of his car,

and they pushed him
down on the ground,

they hit him some,
threw him against the car.

Who's they?

White dudes. Two of 'em.

Would you recognize them?

I ain't get any kind
of look at their faces.

But they had on
jeans and T-shirts.

What kind of car?

Cutlass. Gold, maybe
champagne. Vinyl top.

Those white boys were
wailing on the brother.

What happened after that?

Don't know. I just went about
my business. Can I go now?

Soon as we write
up your statement.

Oh, no, no, no, no.

See, I told you, but I
ain't telling nobody else.

I don't want no
trouble with the man.

Oh, you don't have
to worry, Mr. Davis.

In this house, I'm the man.

Profaci will take his statement.

You two find that Cutlass.

The Parking Violations Bureau?

Great. The first circle of hell.

They hooked it up
Monday morning.

license plates were gone.

I haven't run the vehicle ID
number through the DMV yet.

Anybody been through it yet?

Yeah. I found a duffel bag
full of gold bars in the trunk.

I'll be retiring next week.

Hey, Lennie Westchester
Auxiliary Police.

This guy was a part-time cop.

Temporary ID, Floyd Michaels.

Now he has a name.

Yeah. Here's the rest
of the Michaels family.

He worked in
Westchester till 12:00.

And when he wasn't home by
3:00, I called. They said he left.

How long had he had the job?


He only worked
there on weekends.

He had a regular job
driving a delivery truck.

BRISCOE: He usually
come straight home?

Why wouldn't he?

It's just a question.

Let me tell you
something, Detective.

Sunday morning, I went to
the police station on Lexington.

They said Floyd wasn't
missing till he'd been gone a day.

They said, "Come
back on Monday."

On Monday, this
white policeman told me

that Floyd was probably holed up
with some ho, or messed up on crack.

He told me, "Come
back in a couple of days.

"He'll probably come home when he
got hungry for some home cooking."

So, nothing is
ever just a question.

Now, I want my
husband's body back today!

We found a broken fingernail
on the front seat of the car,

and corresponding
marks on the upholstery.

The guy was hanging on
when they pulled him out.

We tried to start the car.

Battery was out of juice.
Worn alternator belt.

So, Michaels couldn't
get his car going.

A sitting duck.

JACKSON: The man
kept his car spanking clean.

This was under the front seat.

Scented soap. Lavender candle.

Maybe Michaels went to
the East Side to take a bath.

Fabienne of Paris. One of
those door-to-door outfits.

Name of the sales
rep's on the receipt.

It gets to be 2:00, a
man knows he's got

an angry woman waiting at home.

A bottle of perfume just might
get him past the front door.

So, Michaels
bought the bath soap

and the scented
candle for his wife?

Mmm, yes, sir.
That's what he said.

Except he didn't
exactly hurry home.

wouldn't be covering up

for a good customer,
would you, Mr. Cutty?

Oh, no, sir, no, sir. Floyd
had two beers, and he left.

He wasn't looking for trouble.

He left by himself?

With Artie Dickson. Floyd was
gonna help him flag down a cab.

I don't know how long
we waited for a cab.

But after a while, Michaels
said he'd drive me home.

BRISCOE: And you
live on East 95th?

For the last 47 years.

You know, I told
Michaels which way to go,

but, uh, he wasn't
paying attention.

Uh, we ended up driving around
the block a couple of times.

The bartender said you
weren't too steady on your feet.

Well, that's because
I got bad knees.

Michaels help you up the
stairs to your apartment?

Uh, because of
my knees, you see.

That Michaels was
a nice young man.

I'm telling you, you know, he
had children and everything.

You see anyone
hanging around outside?

Uh, no, can't say that I did.

Anyone in a parked car?

Uh, no, not parked.

But you saw someone in a car.

Well, Michaels thought
somebody was following us.

The second time we
came around the block,

he said a car pulled out
from across the, uh, deli.

BRISCOE: What deli?

Uh, on 94th near Lex.

Followed us till we
crossed Second.

Either one of you catch the make of
the car? The license plate number?

Uh, Michaels said it
was a red Pontiac. Sporty.

You see who was driving?

Well, I didn't see
the car myself

I was resting my eyes.

I guess I should've
paid more attention

to how Michaels was
driving, you know?

He was a nice young
man, that Michaels.

Nice young man.

It was parked across the street.

A red Pontiac Firebird,
with two white guys.

My dad saw it first.

Why? He like red cars?

(CHUCKLES) This one
was staking out my store.

We had eight robberies in
the neighborhood this month.

You get a license plate number?

New Jersey plates.

I called the cops.

What'd they do for you?

Nothing. They came.
The car was gone.

They said they got three reports
that night for a suspicious red Pontiac.

They bought two bananas
and a yogurt. Tough cops.

Guess we're going to Jersey.

So, what do you guys
want to talk to Charlie about?

Mrs. Coffey, does your son
still own a red Pontiac Firebird,

license plate 187 JRL?

Yeah. Was he driving
it Saturday night?

I doubt it. Why is that?

Because Charlie got arrested
in the city for drugs last March,

and now he's doing
six months in Rikers,

on account of his lard-ass Legal
Aid lawyer never filed an appeal.

Who's driving his car now?

Nobody. When the cops
arrested Charlie, they took his car.

And now it's sitting
in a police garage,

and it's gonna cost me
2,000 bucks to get it out.

You New York cops,
you got some nerve!

You said license plate 187 JRL?

New Jersey. That's what we said.

I can't seem to locate
that vehicle right now.

Look, either it's
here or it's not.

I can't locate it. Try tomorrow.

Somebody already claim it?

No, I didn't say that.

So, what, you lost it?

Look, I just can't locate
it. Give me till tomorrow.

Tomorrow's too late.
What's the deal, Fenwick?

You lend it to the in-laws?

Look, fellas, you
gotta cover me on this.

It was borrowed, off the books,

by the Neighborhood
Stabilization Unit for patrol duty.

The car was being used as an
undercover vehicle by some officers

of the Neighborhood
Stabilization Unit

to stake out potential robbery
targets on the East Side.

This is common practice, to
commandeer cars seized as evidence?

You asking me off the record?

Where's the car now?

It's missing.

Do we know which officers
had access to it that night?

There's four names. Fratelli and
Carlson, Dietrich and Sawchuck.

All patrolmen in the 21.

What do their files say?

Two of them have reprimands
by the Review Board

for excessive force. It
comes with the territory.

You excusing them?

No. But there's no hard evidence
connecting any of them to Mr. Michaels.

I... I'm just hoping we
took a wrong turn here.

So am I.

You have an
eyewitness to the attack?

Come on, Ray-Ray.

If you see somebody you
like in there, send up a flare.

Something about all these guys.

They're all so
damn well-groomed.

Here. This one here.

Yeah, I remember this guy.

From where?

He gave me a ticket for
obstructing traffic. He's a cop.

Hey, that's what's with all
these guys. They're cops, huh?

And those two white boys Saturday
night were cops, too. Is that who they was?

Don't worry about that.

don't recognize nobody.

Mr. Davis... Uh-uh.

I ain't never seen them.

All right, Mr. Davis. The officer
will fix you up with some lunch.

You mixed our suspects in
with photos of other cops?

Hey, try finding 20 clean-cut
white guys in the mug books.


it was a long shot he was
gonna pick 'em out anyway.

You don't tell, I won't.

BRISCOE: We've got
an eyewitness, Fratelli.

He saw two guys bouncing
Michaels off the pavement at East 95th.

That'd be you and
your partner, Carlson.

It wasn't us.

You're so confident this
witness can make my man,

put him in a line-up.

Oh, his turn will
come soon enough.

Carlson's going first.

So, if you have an
explanation for what happened,

now's the time to catch
us in a good mood.

Because once IA takes over...

We'll roll right
over you, Fratelli.

Right about now, Carlson, they should
be bringing Fratelli into the line-up.

Unless, of course,
he already gave it up.

There's nothing to
give up. We didn't do it.

Well, you and Fratelli
had the Pontiac, right?

Yeah. We flipped it back
to impound on Friday.

Well, then why can't
they find it, Carlson?

Well, how the
hell should I know?

bozos couldn't find their ass

with both hands
and a flashlight.

We knocked off at 12:00.

Sawchuck went home,
I stayed to do reports.

Did you see
Fratelli and Carlson?

Yeah, outside the station
house, around 2:00.

Hey, guys, you're barking
up the wrong coconut tree.

Well, then, Officer Dietrich, what do
you suppose happened to Mr. Michaels?

He ran into some wrong
people, but it wasn't cops.

So, screw your witness.

There's only two
ways to go, Sawchuck.

Either you and your partner
Dietrich did Michaels...

No. No way. I was
home. You ask my wife.

Or you know who did.

CURTIS: We're gonna run all
you guys through the line-up.

Once a witness
points a finger, that's it.

Game over.

VARDEN: Your lack of
cooperation will be duly noted

along with this reprimand
for excessive force.

Hey, I don't work
for the rat squad.

You won't be working for anybody,
pal. They're gonna bounce you.

I don't care. I got 15 years in.

You think you're walking
out of here with your pension?

I just got off the phone with
the Commissioner's office.

Kiss your bennies goodbye.

They're bluffing. The
union wouldn't let it go.

The union's already on board.

We're all taking
this very seriously.

This is gonna go hard
on your family, Sawchuck.

What do you got, three kids?

My client had nothing to
do with Mr. Michaels' death,

but he'll tell you
what he knows.

He keeps his job
and his benefits.

No problem here.

(EXHALES) Me and my
wife drove up to Carlson's farm

Sunday afternoon for a barbecue.

Fratelli was already there.

Him and Carlson told me they
had a problem with the Pontiac.

What exactly did they say?

They told me a
traffic stop went bad.

They had trouble with a collar,

so they had to
get rid of the car.

VAN BUREN: They didn't give
you any more details than that?

No. And I didn't ask.

I just wanted to get
the hell out of there.

That's not good enough.

We're gonna need the car.

It's on Carlson's farm.

Did you see it? Yeah.

Yeah, I saw it. Back seat
was covered with blood.

Hell of a place for a barbecue.

Back seat's missing.

Where's the local dump?

The back seat and floor mats
were in the Ellenville dump,

medium to well-done.

Forensics couldn't
lift any fluids or fibers.

Start filling out
arrest warrants.

Nylon fibers were found on
the underside of the rear bumper.

Same chemical make-up as
the rope fibers on Michaels' feet.

Bring 'em in.

We're hooking you
up for murder, Fratelli.

You have the right
to remain silent.

Anything you do say can and will
be used against you in a court of law.

You have the right to a lawyer.
If you cannot afford a lawyer,

one will be appointed to you.

But, then, you know all
that, don't you, Carlson?

The U.S. Attorney would
actually be doing you a favor.

You'd have to make this case,

and worry about your good
relations with the Police Department.

The U.S. Attorney's
Office has no such concern.

You also have no appropriate
penalty for what these cops did.

Granted, they wouldn't
be up for the death penalty.

But Federal law has stiffer sentences
for anybody who helped them cover up.

Since when is there a cover-up?

You already found one
officer who kept his mouth shut.

And now, Officer
Sawchuck is cooperating.

The blue wall
isn't just one brick.

We have the arsenal to take
on the Police Department.

The Brooklyn D.A. wisely let
us proceed in the Louima case,

and we'll probably be asked to
take over the Jasper, Texas case.

We're not in Texas,
we're not in Brooklyn.

Thank the U.S.
Attorney for his offer.

We'll do our own laundry.

Good day.

How can a traffic
stop go this bad?

a more immediate problem.

Before I came in, I was on the
phone with the Ellenville dump.

They close at noon on Sundays.

Sawchuck said he saw
the bloody back seat

at Carlson's farm
later, around 3:00.

Maybe Carlson took the seat
to the dump some other day.

The receipt for the dumping fee

was dated for that
Sunday. Sawchuck is lying.

What was his alibi for
the time of the murder?

He said he was with his wife.

Gil was home by
12:30 Saturday night.

Don't you believe him?

Your husband lied about what he
saw at Carlson's farm on Sunday.

We believe he knows
more than what he's told us.

He had nothing to do
with killing that poor man.

JACK: His story
just doesn't hold up.

He'll have to take his chances
with Carlson and Fratelli.

No! That is not fair.
He's not like them.

Then convince us.

Gil's partner, Frank Dietrich,
he told him what happened.

When we got to the farm Sunday,

Dietrich was already there
with Carlson and Fratelli.

On the way home, Gil
told me what Dietrich said.

He told me Dietrich
was involved.

How involved?

Gil didn't say.

He was sick over it. He didn't
want to rat out his partner.


Who are you?

We're from the District
Attorney's Office.

You need to tell us what
your partner said to you.

Get out.

I'll subpoena you
before the Grand Jury.

I don't give a damn.

Refuse to answer, I'll
have you thrown in jail.

Officer Dietrich has already told
the investigators everything he knows.

Yeah, he alibied
Carlson and Fratelli.

He was a lot more
forthcoming with his partner.

Officer Sawchuck
amended his statement.

He said that you told him that

Officers Fratelli and Carlson
beat and killed Mr. Michaels.

That you provided details
which made him believe

you witnessed some of those
events and helped destroy evidence.

And of course, you're buying
Sawchuck's latest concoction.


We believe him to be an honest
cop trying to do the honorable thing.

We think a jury will agree.

My client will tell
you what he knows.

In return, he wants immunity from
state and federal criminal prosecution,

and from any
departmental sanctions.

The U.S. Attorney has
no problem with immunity.

There's no deal unless the District
Attorney gets on board as well.

Until I know exactly what
your client's role was, I...

Sawchuck's testimony
only takes you so far.

You want direct testimony
against Carlson and Fratelli,

you're gonna have
to deal with my guy.

All right, you have a deal.

Sunday morning, around 2:00...


I saw Carlson and Fratelli
pull up in the red Firebird.

They had a male black
cuffed in the back seat.

He didn't look good. They
said he resisted arrest.

They were gonna
teach him a lesson

I told them, "Just book
the guy and forget about it."

Carlson said they
were gonna break him.

What does that mean?

I didn't think they
were gonna kill the guy.

They asked me if I
wanted to come along.

I said no.

They drove off.

And the next day
at Carlson's farm?

DIETRICH: I got there early.

They showed me what
they did with the car.

They wanted me
to talk to Sawchuck,

in case anybody asked about it.

Why did they stop
Mr. Michaels in the first place?


They profiled him.

He was in the wrong
neighborhood at the wrong time.

Wrong skin tone.

No way, no how do we condone
racial profiling, Ms. Carmichael.

I tell my people it's illegal
and won't be tolerated.

Well, the message
isn't getting through.

The Civilian Review
Board told me

they get a lot of complaints
about your precinct.

Nobody likes getting
pulled over by the police.

But we don't target
minorities, we target criminals.

Well, some of your officers seem
to think they're one in the same.

From what I see here, most of
the unsubstantiated traffic stops

for drug and
burglary investigations

were of African-Americans
and Hispanics.

Ms. Carmichael, it's
a fact of life in this city.

Most of your underprivileged,
your uneducated,

your criminal underclass,
they're people of color.

So, it follows every
person of color is a suspect?

I was wrong, Lieutenant.

Your message is getting
through loud and clear.

Two officers have courageously
come forward with essential information.

They put decency and
law above misplaced loyalty.

Their actions firmly put to rest
the myth of the blue wall of silence.

The Mayor has issued a
directive to every officer

with information about this case
to follow their brave example.

The Mayor is also deeply
concerned about complaints

of racial profiling by officers
throughout the five boroughs.

He has directed
the Civilian Review...

Should come as a great
comfort to the Michaels family.

Mayor's got himself a new cause.

If the 21 is any indication,
he's got his work cut out.

It's bad enough
profiling is rampant there,

most of the profile stops
were done by our star witness.

Officer Dietrich.

Carlson and Fratelli picked
up their bad habits from him.

He was their training officer

when they joined the
Neighborhood Stabilization Unit.

I'm liking Dietrich
less and less.

The jury doesn't have
to like him to believe him.

I bought a pig in a poke.

I don't want this blowing up in
my face when he gets on the stand.

Officer Dietrich had eight
complaints for excessive force,

15 for verbal abuse.

They're just allegations. The
Review Board found no basis.

And these?

This is departmental reprimands.

It's Mickey Mouse stuff.

Failure to report an arrest,
unauthorized sick days.

What is this?

That is an application
for early retirement

with full disability
for job-related stress.

Wait... "1994."

What happened?
He changed his mind?

There was a hearing.
The application was denied.

Dietrich sued the city
to retire on full disability.

Because he was stressed?

Because, in the words
of his psychiatrist,

"He sustained seriously disabling
psychiatric symptomatology

"during the course
of his duties."

What duties were those?

From 1989 to '93, he worked
in an anti-drug unit in the Bronx.

He claims, as a result, he
suffered from rage and depression.

My old man knew
something about that.

Never occurred to
him to sue the city.

Well, did your father
feel like killing people?

Dietrich told his
psychiatrist he wanted to,

"Burn all the niggers
and spics in the Bronx."

And that's only one
of his violent fantasies.

What's he doing
still in uniform?

The city decided
he was malingering.

They called him a...

"Narcissistic, self-indulgent,
emotionally unstable person

"who expects immediate
attention and pity."

I see why they wouldn't
want him to retire.

Yeah, they did the math. It was
cheaper to keep him on the job.

This was a hearing
over a pension.

It's of no relevance whatsoever.

It's relevant the city concluded
he was a malingering liar.

I'm no liar.

So when you told
your psychiatrist

you wanted to kill
minorities, you meant it?

I was going through a divorce.
I was one pissed off guy.

I wasn't too fond
of women, either.

And now, all better?

Yeah. I don't let the
job get to me anymore.

What about this urge
you talked about?

The urge to kill
people who upset you?

Are you cross-examining him?

He's not going near a courtroom

until I get a
satisfactory explanation.

You want an explanation?

You walk a beat for 16 years.

What you saw disgusted you.

They live like animals!

They get high.
They kill little kids.

That's why Carlson and Fratelli

wanted you to come
with them that night.

What the hell are
you talking about?

That's why they
thought you'd go along.

Mr. McCoy, that's enough.

Write down what you
did after you ran into them.

Where you went,
who you talked to.

This is bull.

Officer Dietrich has put

his life and his
career on the line

to testify against
his fellow officers.

They Mayor's called him
a hero, for God's sake.

The Mayor should've
talked to me first.

I want a full accounting
from you, Officer.

Names, addresses,
the whole nine yards.

This is no way
to treat a witness.

He's in it up to his elbows.

He was there.

And now he's got immunity.

He did what?

I withdrew my offer of
immunity to Officer Dietrich.

Doesn't that mean he won't be a
witness against Carlson and Fratelli?

I don't want him as a witness,
I want him as a defendant.

Based on what?

The testimony of his psychiatrist
at a departmental hearing.

He's a violent
racist. That's it?

He refuses to account for his
whereabouts at the time of the murder.

That won't even
sustain an indictment.

Is there a case against Carlson and
Fratelli without Dietrich's testimony?

Not a good one. You need him.

You better un-withdraw
your offer of immunity.

Mr. Schiff, if this
case goes south,

the Rodney King riots will
look like a marshmallow roast.

It's his case.

You can expect a
call from the Governor.

Mr. Butler, the U.S.
Attorney's Office

stands by its offer of
immunity to Officer Dietrich.

We are ready to move forward.

You'd give immunity
to a man who'd...

Take the case.

We'll drop the charges
against Carlson and Fratelli.

We'll cooperate with
you any way we can.

Will that make the Mayor happy?

Adam, this isn't right.

For all we know,
Dietrich's the ringleader.

For all you know? You
don't know anything.

Between Internal
Affairs and you,

the Red Sox couldn't have
done a better job of botching it up.

We're ceding
jurisdiction to the Feds.

I'll draw up the dismissal of the
charges against Carlson and Fratelli.

By the time the Feds
get done with Dietrich,

they'll be naming bird
sanctuaries after him.

I'm not done with him.

Get everything you can
on grants of immunity.

I bought you dinner. I
didn't know what you liked,

so I got you salad,
low-cal dressing...


Excuse me?

I burn it, I don't store
it. What did you get?

Ribs. Oh.

Great. Looks good.
I'll eat, you graze.

Listen, I haven't found anything
on point yet, but I have an idea.

When the Feds were after their
immunity agreement with Dietrich,

they basically
used our agreement,

they just changed the names.

Standard practice.

Well, yes, but it's
going to cost them.

Have you read the Federal
statute on witness bribery lately?

This is perfect.

Let's file a motion.

You're challenging the
Federal grant of immunity?

Yes. You're defying me.

I guess I am.
Dietrich's a killer, Adam.

I'm convinced he
participated in the murder,

and the Feds are letting
him get away with it.

So, you're going to
sabotage their case.

Any other brilliant ideas?

You wanted to know how a
traffic stop could go so bad?

Because nobody
said, "That's enough."

This is my line in the sand.

One phone call from me,
this is dead in its tracks.

You could do that.

I'd re-file it as
a private citizen.

It's nice to have choices.

Mr. McCoy is trying to equate a
grant of immunity with bribing a witness.

It's absurd.

Title 18, Section 201 of
the United States Code

prohibits anyone,
directly or indirectly,

from giving or promising,

"Anything of value for
testimony by a witness."

And you're saying
the grant of immunity

is something of value
under the statute?

Yes. As a result
of his immunity,

besides keeping
his police pension,

the witness, Mr. Dietrich,
avoids jail time.

I can't imagine
anything more valuable

than personal physical freedom.

Your Honor, making deals
with potential witnesses

is accepted practice
in every jurisdiction.

Mr. McCoy himself drafted
this grant of immunity.

Was he trying to
bribe a witness?

JACK: What
Mr. Gervits fails to grasp

is that New York and
Federal bribery statutes differ.

Under New York law,
bribing a witness requires

influencing that
witness to testify falsely.

Federal law has no
such requirement.

A simple quid pro quo.

JACK: Yes. Under
the Federal statute,

simply giving something of value

in exchange for testimony,
true of false, constitutes bribery.

Your Honor, if you
sustain Mr. McCoy's motion

and invalidate this
grant of immunity,

the Federal criminal justice
system will grind to a halt.

If we can't make
deals with witnesses...

That's not a
concern of this court.

Your deal with Mr. Dietrich
clearly violates the Federal statute.

I'm allowing Mr. McCoy's motion.

The grant of
immunity is rescinded.


First thing tomorrow morning,

file indictments against
Carlson, Fratelli, and Dietrich.

Murder one.

Preposterous decision. Hog-ties
every Federal prosecutor in the country.

And thanks to you,
we're a party to it.

The decision will be reversed
on appeal six months from now.

By then, Dietrich and the
other two will be on death row.

Or your letter of resignation
will be on my desk.

My Longhorn pennant
will look good over there.

Bite your tongue.

The case isn't easy to make.

Not without one of them
rolling on the others.

That's what got us in
trouble in the first place.

Wrong guy, wrong deal.

You'd give the right
deal to the other two?

Carlson has three reprimands.

One for excessive force,

one for passing racist
literature to other officers...

Fratelli has seven years on
the force and a clean record.

If he hasn't rolled by now...

There was an eyewitness.
The squeegee man?

Ray-Ray Davis.

The police report said
he could not identify

Fratelli or Carlson
from the photo arrays.

I wonder if he'd do any
better seeing them in person.

All right, Mr. Davis, take
a good look at these men

and tell us if you saw
any of them on 95th Street.

And take your time.

Number three from the right.

Number three, step forward.

VAN BUREN: Is that the man
you saw assaulting Mr. Michaels?

Uh-huh. Number
three. He's one of 'em.

ROBBINS: Uh, Ms. Carmichael.

My client's ready for a
heart-to-heart with Mr. McCoy.

Great. I'll set it up.

He blinked? Yeah,
thanks to Mr. Davis.

Good old Ray-Ray.

Trick was giving him a number
he couldn't forget. Three.

It rhymes with squeegee.

You get his confession and
testimony against Carlson and Dietrich.

In return, you let
him plead murder two

with a sentence
recommendation of 15-to-life.

My offer is, he walks
away with his life. Period.

No possibility of parole.

He's serving Dietrich up on
a silver platter. Without him...

I don't care who gets the
gurney next to Dietrich,

Carlson or your client.

Oh, for God's sake,
McCoy, he's got a family.

So did Mr. Michaels.

They won't get to
visit him every Sunday.

FRATELLI: We'd been sitting
on this deli about 40 minutes,

when the Cutlass passed
by for the second time.

Driving slow, with two
male blacks in the front seat.

Officer Carlson thought the occupants
might be planning to rob the deli,

so we followed them.

The Cutlass kept proceeding at
a regular but slow rate of speed.

Did it occur to you that
the driver might be lost?

No. It's a pretty
high-class neighborhood.

The car and the occupants
just didn't seem to fit.

Because they were two
black men driving an old car?


What happened next?

We followed the car until
it crossed Second Avenue,

then we went around the block.

When we came back,

we saw the Cutlass parked, with
the driver still behind the wheel.

We couldn't see
the second occupant.

We got out of the car and
approached the Cutlass.

While Officer Carlson
talked to the driver,

while I kept an eye on
the surrounding buildings

for the second man.

The driver identified
himself as Floyd Michaels.

He said he had driven a friend
home and couldn't start his car.

Officer Carlson ordered
him out of the car.

Then I heard Mr. Michaels
say in a defiant tone

that he worked for
the Westchester Police.

What happened then?

Officer Carlson
went off on the guy.

He pulled him out of the car and struck
him several times with his night stick.

What did you do?

Mr. Michaels was cursing
and trying to get away.

I helped my partner subdue him.

With appropriate force?

You'd have to say
it was excessive.

Then we handcuffed Mr. Michaels
and put him in the back seat of our car.

Then we drove to
our station house.

Did you stop along the way?

Yes, sir. Mr. Michaels
kept cursing us.

On two occasions, Officer
Carlson stopped the car

and went in the
back and hit him.

What, if anything,
did you say or do?


What happened when you
got to your station house?

We saw Officer Dietrich
walking to his car.

Officer Carlson pulled up along
side and told him what happened.

Officer Dietrich said that we
should teach Mr. Michaels a lesson.

Officer Carlson agreed.

He told Mr. Michaels we
were going to break him.

Officer Dietrich got in the car,

in the back seat
with Mr. Michaels,

and we drove over to
the West Side, to a field

under the Henry Hudson.

What happened
when you got there?

Officer Dietrich pulled
Mr. Michaels out of the car,

and him and my partner took turns
hitting him on the chest and head.

Did you hit Mr. Michaels?

On the legs. Just on the legs.

What happened after that?

Officer Dietrich got
some rope out of the trunk.

He tied one end around
Mr. Michaels' ankles,

while my partner
tied the other end

around the back
bumper of the car.

JACK: Was Mr. Michaels
conscious during this time?

He was just moaning,
not saying anything.

Nobody was.

Dietrich got behind the wheel.

Me and Carlson got in.

And Dietrich just...

I wanted to say something...

But Dietrich and Carlson,
they had seniority.

Dietrich stopped the car.

Him and Carlson got out.

They came back with the rope.

They just threw it on
the back seat next to me.

There was blood on it, from where it
was tied around Mr. Michaels' ankles.

Then we drove off.

I wish...

I'm sorry for what
happened to Mr. Michaels.

I'm sorry I dishonored
the uniform.

JACK: How could such a
horrifying thing happen in our city?

It may be comforting to
simply point at these two officers

and say that Mr. Michaels' death

was solely the issue of
their sick, hateful minds.

Or to lay some of the blame
on the Police Department.

After all, they had
ample warning.

They caught Mr. Carlson
distributing racist literature.

Officer Dietrich told them
he was having fantasies

about killing African-Americans
and Hispanics.

And the Police
Department did nothing,

except issue reprimands.

So other well-meaning
officers got the message.

The Department
tolerates racists.

It's okay to use racial slurs,

to use excessive force,
to use racial profiling.

Not only that,

it's okay to do it in front
of your fellow officers.

Don't worry, the buddy-buddy
system will protect you.

The blue wall will shield
you from civilian authority.

Not that they really have
anything to fear from us anyway.

And that's the least comforting
reason why this horror took place.

As long as crime is down,

as long as the streets are safe,

as long as these
abuses by police officers

happen in somebody
else's neighborhood,

we're content to
look the other way.

That's what these
officers were counting on.

That our failure to police them

manifests our indifference,

even our acceptance
of their methods.

Well, ladies and
gentlemen of the jury,

here's your chance to send a
clear, unambiguous message

to every police
officer, good or bad,

that we will not
tolerate racism.

That we will punish every abuse.

And you can do it today

by exacting from
these two individuals

the most extreme
punishment under the law.

The Fourth Amendment
of the Constitution

recognizes our right to
be secure in our persons

and protected from
unreasonable seizures.

No police officer can
take those rights from us.

Not unless we give them away.

Two of New York's
finest on Death Row.

There's gonna be fallout.

You think we should have
let the Feds take the heat?

We'll know next time
one of us needs a cop.

Your first death
sentence. You okay with it?

Only one thing bothering me.
Ray-Ray, the squeegee man?

The cops told him
which one was Fratelli.

I know. I told them to.

Perfectly legal.

We were never going to use
the identification at trial anyway.

Legal or not...

Major felonies, Abbie.
Welcome to the bigs.