Law & Order (1990–2010)
2 user 1 critic

Burn Baby Burn 

A community activist who was formerly a Black Panther is accused of killing a police officer. He claims self-defense because of the history of police violence against African-Americans.


David Platt


Dick Wolf (created by), Richard Sweren


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Lennie Briscoe
Jesse L. Martin ... Ed Green
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... Jack McCoy
Angie Harmon ... Abbie Carmichael
Dianne Wiest ... Nora Lewin
Joe Morton ... Leon Chiles
Al Sapienza ... Officer
Joseph Siravo ... Man
Chuck Cooper ... Rolando August
Michael Connors Michael Connors ... Det. Ronnie Blair (as Michael William Connors)
Mike Hodge ... Judge Delano Burns
Dan Lauria ... Capt. Joe Strudevant
Clarence Williams III ... Latiff Miller
David Lipman ... Judge Morris Torledsky


A community activist who was formerly a Black Panther is accused of killing a police officer. He claims self-defense because of the history of police violence against African-Americans.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

computer | race | gun | See All (3) »


TV-14 | See all certifications »




Release Date:

22 November 2000 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Joe Morton, who plays Leon Chiles in this episode & 3 others, previously played the role of Roland Books in episode 3.2, Law & Order: Conspiracy (1992). See more »


When Attorney Leon Chiles (Joe Morton) cites police brutality, he mentions the Fred Hampton assassination in Oakland. Fred Hampton was killed by police in Chicago, not Oakland. See more »


Detective Ed Green: Mr. Miller? Please don't make us disrespect your house of worship.
Latiff Miller: You already have.
Detective Ed Green: I need you to come with me.
Latiff Miller: I want to go out the front.
Detective Ed Green: The back is better.
Latiff Miller: So you can shoot me?
Detective Ed Green: If they shoot you, they're gonna have to shoot me, too.
See more »

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User Reviews

Can a Black man claim self-defense against a white cop?
3 January 2011 | by caroaberSee all my reviews

I come from a law enforcement background, and this episode is a keen and probing look at the racial divisions that still polarize our nation.

Police appear before grand juries frequently and cite "fear for my own life" as the reason why they shot an unarmed individual. But what happens when this defense is turned around? This episode asks us to consider whether a Black man--even an angry Black man--can cite his own fear as a justification for the use of deadly force. Was the defendant justified and are his claims of self-defense legit?

One line didn't ring true for me: NYPD cops do not come down "from New Paltz," but they do often come from Rockland County (Pearl River) and Long Island. But certainly not Ulster County, or Dutchess for that matter. Neither county's residents are eligible for hire by the NYPD.

Clarence Williams III was spectacular in his role, and it was so good to finally see him again. Merkerson, Orbach, Green and all the others were fine, too.

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