Law & Order (1990–2010)
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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.


Constantine Makris


Dick Wolf (created by), Rene Balcer


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Benjamin Bratt ... Rey Curtis
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Angie Harmon ... Abbie Carmichael
Steven Hill ... Adam Schiff
John Ventimiglia ... Officer Frank Dietrick
John MacKay John MacKay ... Internal Affairs Detective (as John A. MacKay)
Michael McCormick Michael McCormick ... Dietrick's Attorney
John Driver John Driver ... Assistant US Attorney Bob Gervits
David Valcin ... Officer Fratelli
Russell G. Jones ... Raymond 'Ray-Ray' Davis
Joseph Ragno
Michael Hannon Michael Hannon
Pamela Isaacs Pamela Isaacs ... Mrs. Michaels


Detectives Briscoe and Curtis investigate the death of an African-American man, Floyd Michaels, who the medical examiner concludes was beaten and dragged behind a car. Local community activist Rev. Ramsay is soon visiting Lt. Van Buren's superior to ensure this hate crime gets top priority. The police find a witness who says he saw two white men pull victim out of his car. They also learn that Michaels was an auxiliary policeman in Westchester County. They find witnesses who identify the attackers' red Pontiac but they trace it to a police compound for seized vehicles. It leads them to believe that the attackers were policemen. For the DA's office, problems arise when the U.S. Attorney wants to take over the case. When ADA McCoy finds he's granted the ringleader immunity, he tries to have the immunity agreement rescinded. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

7 October 1998 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


In 2002 a New York state court ruled that private citizens were not allowed to prosecute criminal charges because it violates a defendant's right to due process. See more »


They couldn't the victim's fingerprints in the system.

However, he was an auxiliary police officer, so he would have had to undergo a background check which would have included being fingerprinted and those prints being added to the system. See more »


Jack McCoy: Your first death sentence. You OK with it?
Abbie Carmichael: There's only one thing bothering me: Ray Ray, the squeegee man. The cops told him which one was Fratelli.
Jack McCoy: I know; I told them to. Perfectly legal. We were never going to use the identification at trial anyway.
Abbie Carmichael: Legal or not...
Jack McCoy: Major felonies, Abbie. Welcome to the bigs.
See more »

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User Reviews

The Blue Wall Of License
21 February 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The case of James Byrd the black man dragged to his death in Harlingen, Texas was the model for this Law And Order episode. But here the ones who drag the victim who was a police officer in Westchester County are NYPD police officers.

The NYPD always circles the wagons around its own no matter what. Because of that and the fact that offers know that it also becomes the blue wall of license in that it allows them to get away with anything. It takes a lot of bluff for Sam Waterston and Angie Harmon to get a conviction here. If I had been them I would have welcomed handing this one off to the US Attorney as they were offered.

I did love the performance of Russell G. Jones who is a homeless man with a squeegee sponge who is a limited witness at best. They do get a lot of mileage out of him.

Best is when S. Eptha Merkerssen tells him in this house,"I'm the man".

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