Law & Order (1990–2010)
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Airs Tue. Aug. 27, 12:00 AM on WE

When a teenage girl is found dead in the park, the detectives uncover a group of teen racists and the adult who encouraged them. The prosecution's case sparks a debate about hate speech and the First Amendment.


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
Michael Cumpsty ... Tom Willis
Jonathan Hogan Jonathan Hogan ... Mr. Latimer
Lawrence Nathanson Lawrence Nathanson ... Mr. Osborne
Welker White ... Ms. Caldwell
Joshua Harto ... Peter Stymons
Paul Dawson ... Derek Harland
Anna Belknap ... Jessica Buehl
Ted Kazanoff Ted Kazanoff ... Judge Daniel Scarletti
Larry Clarke ... Detective Morris LaMotte


When a teenage girl is found dead in the park, the detectives uncover a group of teen racists and the adult who encouraged them. The prosecution's case sparks a debate about hate speech and the First Amendment.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

6 January 1999 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The episode ends with a tribute to United States Attorney Charlie Rose who died shortly after this episode was filmed. He worked for 15 years with the United States Attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York, he helped prosecute bank robbers, narcotics traffickers, terrorists and organized-crime figures. His biggest case was prosecuting terrorists from Puerto Rico who wanted their country to no longer be a territory of the United States. They bombed the headquarters of the New York City Police Department and the F.B.I. headquarters at Federal Plaza, Mr. Rose prosecuted the terrorists responsible for the bombings and got convictions on all of them. In 1990 he prosecuted one of the largest trials on organized crime since Al Capone. He prosecuted notorious mobster Vincent Gigante, who conspired with 14 other reputed gangsters to rig bids and extort payoffs from contractors on multi-million-dollar bids with the New York City Housing Authority. Everyone charged was convicted on multiple counts of extortion, racketeering and murder, except for Mr. Gigante who stalled his trial by pretending to be mentally unfit. However he was eventually convicted, although it was after Mr. Rose left the U.S. Attorney's office. Charles Rose has been credited with doing more than any other U.S. Attorney (at the time of his death in 1998) to clean up organized crime in New York city. See more »


The interstate nature of the the entire case makes it more likely to have been a federal prosecution. This is never discussed even though it would be the easiest way to make the case. See more »


D.A. Adam Schiff: U.S. Attorney called, asked if there's a civil rights prosecution here.
Jack McCoy: Far as we can tell, this wasn't a bias crime. The victim was one of their own.
D.A. Adam Schiff: What's the matter, they run out of people to hate?
See more »

Crazy Credits

Dedicated to United States Attorney Charles Rose. He made the world a safer place. See more »

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User Reviews

Comes with the territory
22 February 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

The law is something that gets in the way here as Jack McCoy decides he's going after rightwing merchant hate peddler Michael Cumpsty. In his position I might have done the same thing.

A young teenage girl, one whom we find out is incredibly naive and just wants to fit in is found clubbed and stoned to death and left hanging like Mathew Shepard on a tree in Central Park. It turns out she fell in with a group of white racist skinheads who think she might spill some club secrets. And it is poetic that she be left like Mathew Shepard since during the course of show, a gay bashing is described.

The real doer here is a hate filled kid played by Paul Dawson and he's positively unnerving in his hate for all that is different from him. But there's a zealot played by Cumpsty who has a farm where Dawson and his crowd come and hear how they have to kick some gluteus maximus for the white race.

As leader of the skinheads Dawson's guilt is unquestioned, but Cumpsty's speech revolting as it is, can it be translated into a call for action, especially against one particular victim?

When you say you have a society that relishes free speech, problems like these come with the territory.

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