Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Poison Ivy 

A police officer is accused of planting a gun on an unarmed African-American youth that he shot. The victim was beloved in his community, but the investigation reveals that he may have also been a drug dealer.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Robinette
Adam Schiff
Reverend Thayer
Doris Carver
Officer Davis
Parisi's Attorney
Richard Habersham ...
Abel Richardson
Dorian 'Silky' Ford
Gregg Almquist ...
Lt. Gowdy - Internal Affairs


Sergeant Greevy and Detective Logan investigate a shooting death involving a fellow police officer. Veteran patrolman Freddo Parisi shot and killed an African-American drug suspect, Tommy Richardson, after the victim pointed a gun at him. Internal Affairs is satisfied but Greevy has his doubts, especially after he learns that Parisi was involved in a previous shooting. It's a thorny case with complaints coming from the African-American community and from the police union. The more they investigate, the more convinced they become Parisi planted the gun on the victim. It's not an easy prosecution for ADA Stone however. There are no witnesses and Parisi's partner is backing up his partner's story. When it turns out Tommy was out buying drugs, getting evidence from the drug dealer becomes crucial. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

20 November 1990 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on the Edmund Perry case. Perry was a 17 year old Harlem resident and graduate from Phillips Exeter who was shot to death by undercover New York plainclothes police officer, Lee Van Houten, on June 12, 1985. Van Houten maintained that Perry and another black youth, later identified as Edmund's brother Jonah, attempted to mug him and that he shot in self-defense. The case briefly generated a firestorm of protest in New York City when it was revealed that Perry was an honor student and was enrolled to attend Stanford on scholarship; however, witnesses backed up Van Houten's claim that Perry and Jonah had attempted to mug the officer and the shooting was ruled as justified. Jonah was then arrested and charged as an accomplice for the mugging, but was found not guilty at trial. See more »


Greevy tells Reverend Thayer that Tommy Richardson was shot 'the other night'; but the time stamp before the scene reads August 7th, whereas the time stamp for the previous scene read July 21st. See more »


Internal Affairs Lt. Gowdy: We're all one family here, Sergeant.
Sgt. Max Greevey: You an only child? I got people in my family, I wouldn't believe 'em they told me the sky was blue.
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References Sudden Impact (1983) See more »

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User Reviews

It doesn't sit right
1 August 2017 | by See all my reviews

I agree with the Internal Affairs cop who said it was an ironic day indeed when their department is willing to give a shooting of a black teen by a veteran cop a once over, but the precinct won't. The one with whom this doesn't sit right is George Dzundza and he's got a job he even convincing partner Chris Noth to back him up. But Noth does come around.

Police officers John Finn and Jack Gwaltney from their patrol car spot a drug deal in progress and give chase as the participants split up. Gwaltney gives up his pursuit when he hears shots fired. Finn has shot down a kid who has a magnum in his hand and the other has taken off.

I won't go into it all, but the whole thing stinks on ice to Dzundza. Finn has had several complaints against him. The deceased was a community hero of sorts, going to Princeton.

In the end it's tragedy all around. The deceased was not quite the role model the neighborhood made of him. And Finn who might have been severely disciplined blew it by trying a cover-up.

Besides those mentioned there's also a good performance coming from Al Freeman, Jr. as the pastor of the church the deceased and his family went to. Ditto for the survivors of the incident the deceased's younger brother Richard Haversham and Erik King the street wise drug dealer who finds his life turned inside out with this whole affair.

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