The City Is Burning
Original Airdate: September 28, 1987

[Manhattan street]

(a Mercedes pulls up in front of the Squad car. A black man in a suit gets out and the duo gets out of the Squad car. Mary Beth comes up to him. Chris goes round the passenger door side of the Mercedes and then comes up to him)
MARY BETH: Hey Eddie, you're looking smart.
CHRISTINE: Some little old lady in Brooklyn is wondering where she parked her car.
EDDIE HANKS: Understand, I've got my rights.
CHRISTINE: And there's an appearance that you missed at a criminal court.
EDDIE HANKS: Well, ...is this September?
MARY BETH: What I have here is a non-appearance warrant.
CHRISTINE: So we can tell the jury we either found you or we didn't.
MARY BETH: It's about stolen cars. Mercedes. Who's moving 'em in Manhattan?
EDDIE HANKS: It's way above my head.
CHRISTINE: (taking his elbow) I guess we found you. Come with us.
EDDIE HANKS: (shouting out loud) Hold it! I said 'Hold it'. You're victimising me because I'm black. This is all about over in Queens where that black kid was murdered. (a black crowd gathers round) We're trying to make an honest living.
CHRISTINE: (to the crowd) Move it, please. Keep moving! (Eddie Hanks moves off) Not you. (as Eddie goes into a shop) You come on back here! Eddie!!

[Hairdresser shop]

CHRISTINE: (as he turns and stops with his arms half-raised) Get 'em up!
EDDIE HANKS: (as she frisks him) You don't have to yell at me. You embarrassed me in front of those people.
CHRISTINE: I did not.
HAIRDRESSER: (coming up) Hey, hey, hey! if this brother has any bruises on him. Boy, he better not have any...
CHRISTINE: Hey, hey, hey!!! Take a walk out of this joint.
HAIRDRESSER: (going out) This better not be about Bobby Johnson.
EDDIE HANKS: Look ladies, that car belongs to a friend of mine.
MARY BETH: Mercedes information. Give us something or you're going in.
EDDIE HANKS: I don't know a thing! I'm sure you ladies don't wanna give me a parole problem, now do ya? Have a heart. I'm just small change.
MARY BETH: You're wasting out time, Eddie. Give the names.
EDDIE HANKS: OK. (sitting in a hairdressing chair) Maybe I did (Chris puts her thumb up. He gets up) ...borrow the car. But I got a job interview in Jersey and I just wanted to make a good impression. I'm gonna take it back. I swear it.
CHRISTINE: When? After you've given it a complimentary paint job and a new serial number.
EDDIE HANKS: You've got it all wrong. Let me buy you ladies lunch. Nice bottle of wine, and a donation to the old folks.
CHRISTINE: (smiling broadly) OK. (to Mary Beth) Cuff him.
EDDIE HANKS: Do you want the names alphabetically?

[Detectives' Squad room]

MARY BETH: Jonathan Gries was deported. Sam Barton is deceased and the third guy was doing Federal time when he died from a natural heart attack.
CHRISTINE: We're running out of clues here, Mary Beth. One more bad lead and he's ending up on Rikers.
CORASSA: (coming in with Samuels) Come on, Lieutenant, that gun cost me a pay rise and a reprimand on my record. I thought this was over months ago. It's a nightmare.
SAMUELS: Corassa, I want you to be prepare how to handle it. You're gonna have to answer all the old questions and a lot of new ones too.
CORASSA: I wish I'd never had the damn thing.
SAMUELS: Corassa, you can cry later. Right now, before the phones start ringing, I wanna go over everything from top to bottom.
(Petrie and Isbecki are putting a suspect in the holding cell. Petrie pushes him towards the cell)
SUSPECT: Hey, get your hands off of me!
ISBECKI: (grabbing him from behind) How about Polish hands, scum ball?
(Isbecki thrusts him in the cell)
PETRIE: (as he locks the door) Hey, Victor!
BASIL: (carrying a big box) Lunchtime!
PETRIE: (taking his order) Nothing with onions now, Victor.
MARY BETH: There was the ones we put together on the hot car ring.
CHRISTINE: I never wanna see those again. Come on. Think. Where would you go shopping for a hot machine?
MARY BETH: Harvey and I have a simple rule about cars. Drive 'em till they die.
(they get up and go to Basil)
CHRISTINE: Think flash! Huh? Class! (to Esposito) What would you do to impress a girl?
ESPOSITO: Oo! You're talking red sixty-two Caddy, about two blocks long. With a suspension system that eats up Seventh Avenue potholes. Makes you swear you're driving your bathtub.
ISBECKI: No way! She's talking stylish, tasteful elegance. A Benz. (intimately to Chris) Another passion that we share, Cagney.
CHRISTINE: It's bad enough we share the same air.
COLEMAN: (going towards Basil) Listen to this. Joyce Richards is on hold to the Lieutenant.
ESPOSITO: The Johnson family's big-time lawyer!
ISBECKI: Why would she want the Lieutenant?
CHRISTINE: She once had a ticket.
MARY BETH: It was all over "The Post" this morning. She got him off from a homicide. The Bernard death verdict.
CHRISTINE: Oh, please.
PETRIE: It's not that far off.
ISBECKI: It works for me.
COLEMAN: If the boys from Queens don't solve this soon, the mobs will be in the streets.
CHRISTINE: Ah ha. Wasn't it the BGA leading the cheers?
ESPOSITO: You should listen to what she's saying. In a week, no witnesses, no suspects and Bobby Johnston doesn't have a record.
CHRISTINE: Real Boy Scout stuff.
PETRIE: You've been on the job too long, Cagney. Good kids do get wasted, you know.
MARY BETH: It's the second black kid killed in our neighbourhood this year.
CHRISTINE: What was he doing there?
PETRIE: Maybe he thought it was America.
(Cagney is not impressed)
ESPOSITO: You've got it, Marcus.
SAMUELS: (coming out of his office) Now listen up everybody. We got a problem. Corassa's off-duty gun, the one that was stolen. It turned up in a Queens sewer last night. Forensics has ID'ed it as the weapon that killed Bobby Johnson.
CORASSA: The night he was killed I was here. ...Playing poker.
ESPOSITO: You were here losing at poker as a matter of fact. Now you still owe me eighty bucks.
(restrained laughter)
SAMUELS: I expect ...that the media, community groups are gonna be poking their noses about around here for information. Well, let 'em get it from the Press Section downtown. I don't want anybody in this Squad talking to anyone on or off the cuff. You understand?
ISBECKI: (after Samuels has gone) Talk about luck.
CHRISTINE: I've been there. (to Corassa) You'll get through it.
PETRIE: (shaking Corassa's hand) You've got a room full of witnesses.

[Laceys' lounge]

(the TV is on. Harvey is watching the news. Mary Beth brings in a couple of mugs of coffee)
JOYCE RICHARDS: (who is black, on TV)...but all too often, when the victim's black, you look funny and the Department looks dumber.
MARY BETH: That'll win you a lot of cooperation, lady.
JOYCE RICHARDS: (on TV) But the Task Force assigned to this investigation is coming up empty. Now that a police officer's revolver has been identified as the murder wea...
(Mary Beth turns off the TV)
HARVEY: Hey! Babe, I'm watching that.
MARY BETH: It's been a hard day, Harve.
HARVEY: She's entitled to her point of view, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: She's trying a police officer in the Press. Corassa's suffered enough already.
HARVEY: (getting up) Honey, if he's innocent he'll be cleared.
MARY BETH: Whose side are you on?
HARVEY: Well, if you're choosing teams I'm on your side. I'm saying she's not the bad guy. Joyce Richards has a reputation as a hell of a civil rights lawyer.
MARY BETH: It's circumstantial evidence! She's already got him convicted! Nobody cares what Al is going through. Even when he's cleared of this thing he's not gonna feel any better. The record will say he's not responsible. (tapping her chest) It's not gonna change what's in here. His gun took a boy's life, Harvey. It doesn't matter who pulled the trigger. If it was my gun, I'd still feel that it was me that killed that kid.
HARVEY: The woman is doing her job, Mary Beth. The Johnsons have a right to learn the truth!
MARY BETH: What about Al Corassa's rights?
MARY BETH: Al Corassa, he's part of the privileged class! Same as you and me! Black people are still treated like second-class citizens. (getting annoyed) They have to fight their way out of ghettos to get where we've already started from!!
MARY BETH: Oh God. (Mary Beth shakes her head and turns away) At first it's Howard Beatty and then the stabbing and now this thing here. So I really wanna tell people I live in Jersey instead.
HARVEY: Oh, come on, honey, everybody in Queens is not a racist.
MARY BETH: We should move to where there's a better mix of people, Harve.
HARVEY: Hey babe, we did not move out here to run away from anyone. We came out here looking for bedrooms, bathrooms, a place of our own.
MARY BETH: Yeah. So, now we've got space. I don't wanna see this place become like we're not part of the rest of the world.
HARVEY: There are black people in Queens.
MARY BETH: Yeah? We don't know 'em, Harve! The only black people the boys meet are in school and Alice only sees 'em at the playground.
HARVEY: OK. What do you want to do about it?
MARY BETH: I don't know.
(Mary Beth goes off leaving Harvey bemused)

[Manhattan street]

CHRISTINE: I have been patient and I have been understanding. I have meditated on my thought for the day until I'm dizzy. So forget it. It's over. All right? We're gonna see a car thief now.
MARY BETH: I'm sure we could have found an AVA for him if...
CHRISTINE: We've tried calling him the last two hours! That's enough for me. If he can't handle any warrants it's too bad for him.
MARY BETH: He gave us a list, we owe him.
CHRISTINE: Not Holding we don't. We tried. It's not our fault the entire legal system is shut down for the one lousy homicide.
MARY BETH: Which happens to bring up some serious questions.
CHRISTINE: Come on, Mary Beth, you know that black people are being found killed in Harlem all the time. In the City of New York it's just like a heart attack, no more.
MARY BETH: Unfortunately black victims in black neighbourhoods do not make the six o'clock news.
CHRISTINE: Unfortunately Joyce Richards is out there carrying the flame.
MARY BETH: Well, if a white kid was killed in an all-black neighbourhood, what would you call it?
CHRISTINE: Getting off at the wrong subway stop. (Mary Beth stops walking. Chris turns) What?!! I didn't say it was right!
MARY BETH: (resuming walking) Nothing.

[Outside the Precinct House]

(there is a demonstration going on. Placards like "Give us the truth about Bobby Johnson" are in evidence)
JOYCE RICHARDS: (shouting above the roar of the demonstrators from the Precinct House steps) The gun... The gun that killed Bobby Johnson belonged to a detective from this precinct!!! (to Coleman as he comes out) Are you answering questions?
COLEMAN: Do you think the questions can wait for the Press statement, ma'am?
JOYCE RICHARDS: We do not wanna a Press handout, we want the truth, Sergeant. And if you're afraid to give it to us, then, ten to one I will.
(the duo arrives back and stands and watches)
CHRISTINE: That's what I mean. It takes a mob to set her off.
COLEMAN: (on bullhorn) This is an unlawful assembly. Now all you folks, just break it up and move it along.
JOYCE RICHARDS: (pointing to the duo) And what about those gun slingers to my right?
COLEMAN: (with the bullhorn still switched on) They'll be right behind you, ma'am.
(the way to the steps has been cleared)
CHRISTINE: Come on, Mary Beth.
JOYCE RICHARDS: (to Chris) You have a choice. Don't be part of this cover-up. Not finding the killer of Bobby Johnson, he's just another dead nigger.
MARY BETH: Nobody here is saying that, ma'am.
(the duo goes inside)
COLEMAN: (on bullhorn) Move it on! Move it on, here! (to Joyce Richards) Off the steps, please. ...Sorry.
DEMONSTRATORS: Tell the truth! Tell the truth!

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the duo comes in from outside)
CHRISTINE: If Joyce Richards has a right to be out there, so's the other bunch.
MARY BETH: Who do you think you are? David Keeler.
(there is the sound of shattering glass. Everybody ducks. A Squad room window has been broken)
MARY BETH: It's nothing, Chris. A rock or something.
(later the repairs to window are being completed by a uniformed policeman)
CHRISTINE: What's the problem? Can't the Department pay for repairs.
PETRIE: (coming in) Hey, Cagney anything on your Mercedes yet?
CHRISTINE: Still waiting for the computer to burp.
MARY BETH: (to Petrie who has slumped in his chair) Rough out there, huh? What do you make of it?
PETRIE: Do you mean as a black cop or a black man?
CHRISTINE: Oh, come on, Marcus.
PETRIE: Come on, nothing!
MARY BETH: I wanted your point of view, that's all.
PETRIE: I'll tell you what I think. I think everyone's a racist. That's the way this country is set up. It's only a matter of what you do with it.
BASIL: (the computer has burped) Here's the thing you wanted, Sergeant.
CHRISTINE: Thanks.
PETRIE: I hope you find your car thief.
MARY BETH: Thanks.
(Mary Beth is still thinking about what Petrie has said)
CHRISTINE: We've got a lead, Mary Beth. ...Mary Beth! Three stolen cars, all parked in the same garage on 44th Street. Good, huh?!
MARY BETH: Sounds like a coincidence.
(the duo gets their bags)
CORASSA: (coming in with Esposito) Dumb! Dumb!
ESPOSITO: What are you gonna do, Al. Arrest him? The kid's eight years old!
CORASSA: You tell me. A young black kid spits on me and I'm the bad guy. Right?
ESPOSITO: Take it easy.
CORASSA: If the little creep had put a brick through my window. Sure.
(Mary Beth stands listening. Petrie looks round)
MARY BETH: Do you get the feeling we're losing our sense of proportion around here?
(Mary Beth follows Chris out. Petrie stares ahead)

[Underground garage]

(a Porsche comes in and brakes to a halt. The duo are waiting)
HANDS CALLAHAN: (getting out the car and seeing them) Oh no! I knew it was gonna be a rotten day.
MARY BETH: Mr. Callahan, what a pleasant surprise.
CHRISTINE: Hey, Hands! Long time no see in the last two to five.
HANDS CALLAHAN: (pointing to a name patch on his shirt and looking round to see if anybody is listening) Deightman! John Deightman.
CHRISTINE: But Callahan is a beautiful Irish name!
HANDS CALLAHAN: Look, I had nothing to do with those cars. Please don't lose me this job.
MARY BETH: You always had a real love for cars, Hands.
HANDS CALLAHAN: All I do is park 'em. I don't even peek in the glove box.
CHRISTINE: Who's doing business in this area? German prestige cars.
HANDS CALLAHAN: Now if it was me, would I still be here?
MARY BETH: What's the scam, Hands? Pressing the keys?
HANDS CALLAHAN: Look, none of those cars were parked on my shift. I've done three bits. I've paid my debts to society! I'm thinking about the priesthood.
CHRISTINE: Does the owner know that you're using an alias?
MARY BETH: (looking around) What about your boss?
HANDS CALLAHAN: I can't believe this! Here I am trying to make a living like a normal citizen. I'm saving the State forty grand a year by staying out of jail. Now what do I get?!! Harassment!
MARY BETH: Harassment.
HANDS CALLAHAN: OK. So, I park cars. What am I supposed to do? Get a job at Gracie Mansion.
CHRISTINE: Who's hitting this garage?
HANDS CALLAHAN: Come on! Look, I've pressed half the license plates that come into this place. I still hear the pressing machine in my sleep! Don't take me back.
MARY BETH: We're wasting our time here, Sergeant.
CHRISTINE: Right,. We should have gone to his PO anyway.
MARY BETH: Attica is beautiful this time of year.
(they begin to walk away)
HANDS CALLAHAN: OK. (they stop, smile and turn) OK.

[Manhattan street]

CHRISTINE: Are we that good or are they that stupid? Attica works every single time.
MARY BETH: (looking at her notebook) Half the losers are on the West Side.
CHRISTINE: He's a talkative little bleeder when he gets going.
MARY BETH: I'm glad we've shortened the list. My shoes are getting cramp.
CHRISTINE: (raising her arm) Tomorrow! Slurping around this town running bad guys in, one right after the other. (dancing and singing) "East side. West Side. I hate my job"
MARY BETH: (giggling) What's on tonight?
CHRISTINE: Usual meeting. Then I have a date with the gay caballero. He's talked me into to eyeing up tutus just one more time.
MARY BETH: Tony's taking you to the ballet?! Oh, that's wonderful. What's on?
CHRISTINE: "Swan Lake" Can you believe it?
MARY BETH: That is so romantic, Christine.
CHRISTINE: No. None. Romance is when Davey Moore knocked Buster Douglas's teeth out. (making a punching motion) Kee pow!
MARY BETH: Ah ha.
CHRISTINE: Middleweight at The Garden. Now that's sex!
MARY BETH: Ah ha.

[Outside the theatre]

TONY STANTINOPOLIS: You slept in the second act. You didn't give it a chance.
CHRISTINE: I was resting my eyes.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: And snoring.
CHRISTINE: Tony. My mother used to drag me to this garbage all of the time when I was twelve years old. I swore I would kill myself if ever I saw one more pants-off, peek-faced bimbo being passed around from man to man like some party-pooper that nobody wants.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Well, now you're an adult you can appreciate the finer...
CHRISTINE: They don't know how to stand on their own two feet. They're either balancing on one leg or getting carried around.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Fine. How do you really feel about it?
CHRISTINE: I told you.
(there is an altercation on the pavement)
WHITE CAB DRIVER: It was not my fault. It was your fault.
BLACK HUSBAND: Out of my way, buddy, or you'll find yourself under your cab!
WHITE CAB DRIVER: No way I'm going to Harlem this time of night, buddy.
BLACK HUSBAND: Oh, you racist! You...
BLACK WIFE: That's all right, honey. I'm sure the gentleman won't mind me reporting his medallion to the Taxi Commission.
WHITE CAB DRIVER: Who needs a cab here?
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: (coming up to the cab driver) Hey, Jack, you can't refuse a fare.
WHITE CAB DRIVER: Says you.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Take 'em home.
WHITE CAB DRIVER: Come here, big mouth.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Well, who? Me?
WHITE CAB DRIVER: Come here! (Chris tries to restrain him) Yeah, you. Come here.
CHRISTINE: (dragging him away) Come with me.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: I don't like to walk away.
WHITE CAB DRIVER: (after them) Keep walking, buddy.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Why did you drag me away?
CHRISTINE: Tony! Well, I... I just want to have a nice evening. I don't feel like being a cop right now.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: Outright discrimination. That guy's a real jerk!
CHRISTINE: A lot of black cabbies don't wanna go uptown either. What are you trying to do? Clamp down on discriminating taxi drivers?
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: What? Are you telling me there's no law against this?
CHRISTINE: It's an infraction. It is not an offence. I don't wanna spend next two days off in front of the Taxi Commission.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: That guy should be arrested!
CHRISTINE: Well, maybe he feels the same way about you. He'll be that way until there's lobotomy laws on the books.
TONY STANTINOPOLIS: (putting his arm round her and pulling her close beside him) Ah ha, big Chief Detective Christine.
CHRISTINE: Retired. It's been a long day.

[Detectives' Squad room]

PETRIE: (into phone) Well, we'll talk about it when I get home, OK? (Isbecki comes up and sits down) ...No, I don't think so. She'll do fine. ...Claudia,... ...No. No, tell her I love her. ...Yeah, I love you too, babe. ...Bye, bye.
(he rings off)
ISBECKI: What's up?
PETRIE: Claudia wants me to come home. A couple of kids at Lauren's ...progressive school chased her round the playground yelling 'Nigger' at her.
ISBECKI: I thought we were finished with all that stuff.
PETRIE: I guess we're not.
CHRISTINE: (coming down the stairs with Mary Beth) Yeah, I feel like a Recycling Centre. ...Drag 'em in, shake 'em down! Get a lead, cut 'em loose! Go out and the cycle starts all over again!
MARY BETH: (looking at her notebook) We've got a lead, Christine. Carmine Del Gado owns a wrecking yard. (Chris seems deep in thought) Carmine Del Gado? ...The fence is probably dealing with him.
CHRISTINE: Right. God, I wanna drink.
CORASSA: (sitting at his desk and looking at a loss) I feel like a perp.
COLEMAN: (comes in with an incident report) All right! Who's catching? There's a dead kid here. It looks like somebody is taking revenge for Bobby Johnson.
CORASSA: Oh, that's great! A bunch of niggers take out a wacko.
PETRIE: (jumping to his feet and shouting) You dumb pig!!! (Corassa gets to his feet. Esposito restrains him. Isbecki restrains Petrie) If I hear that word one more time!!! One more time!!!
COLEMAN: Let me say it! It wasn't even a white kid! It's a Mexican/Puerto Rican.
ESPOSITO: It doesn't count because it's a spic, huh?!
CHRISTINE: Hey!!! Can I say you just wanna cool it down here.
SAMUELS: (coming out of his office) Turn it down!!! All of ya!! The Press! The Mayor's Office! Demonstrators! Rocks through our windows! Isn't that enough?! Now, all of a sudden, we've gotta go at each other's throats in here!! Is That it!!! ...Huh?! (thumping on a desk) What is wrong?!!! ...Al, don't come in here tomorrow! You're out of here! Call it sick leave. (Corassa leaves) If I hear anymore of this kind of talk, I'm taking all of yous out!!!
PETRIE: Lieutenant, I want the rest of the day off. Family problem.
SAMUELS: Go!!!
(he goes back to his office. Mary Beth brings Chris a coffee and give her some aspirin)

[Ladies room]

MARY BETH: So how was er ..."Swan Lake"?
CHRISTINE: I hated it.
MARY BETH: Go when they're in season. The Bolshoi's coming on.
CHRISTINE: I'd rather die first. Hey, Mary Beth. All this crap is starting to get on my nerves.
MARY BETH: People get short fuses and say stupid things.
CHRISTINE: Look what happened to the Irish Catholics in this country at the turn of the Century! We suffered. We were killed. You didn't hear us screaming 'Police cover-up' and throwing rocks at people! We tried to work within the system. Not like some people...
(at that moment a black, female, uniformed officer comes in)

[Squad car]

(the duo are on stakeout opposite Carmine Del Gado's wrecking yard)
CHRISTINE: I was trying to be considerate of her feelings.
MARY BETH: Right.
CHRISTINE: She walked into the middle of a private conversation.
MARY BETH: Maybe Del Gado's taken an early lunch or something.
CHRISTINE: I'm not prejudiced.
MARY BETH: (having ignored Chris) I can't see anybody stashing a hot Mercedes in a place like that.
CHRISTINE: Why are you hocking me?
MARY BETH: We don't see it the same way. Let's drop it, all right?!
CHRISTINE: Just because you're upset by what Petrie said, you don't have to...
MARY BETH: What Petrie said?! I wasn't impressed, partner. Adults! Calling each other names should be enough to make anybody wanna vomit! That was not just a bunch of guys blowing off steam. Their attitude upsets me!
CHRISTINE: Joyce Richards upsets me. She waltzes in at every opportunity and turns the entire thing into a three-ring circus.
MARY BETH: It would not be necessary if there wasn't hatred in the City. Of course, some of us don't have that problem.
CHRISTINE: Oh. (shaking her head) You're right, Mary Beth. Huh? All right, I admit it. I am prejudiced. I happen to think that all car thieves are scum! I don't discriminate. I don't try to find the good in them. I don't even lose sleep when they go to jail. I despise all of 'em! Regardless of race, colour or hairstyle! OK?!
(she folds her arms)
MARY BETH: There's a plate down on the subway and the black mothers stood on one side and the white mothers stood on the other. I don't even think it's noticed. The kids put 'Yellow' in the middle, but how long did that last?
CHRISTINE: Look who's here.
(a car drives into the wrecking yard)
MARY BETH: I told you I had a feeling.

[Wrecking yard]

CHRISTINE: (as Del Gado gets out of the car) Hey, Carmine. As we're rather short on time, you know the speech, assume the position. (slapping him onto the bonnet of the car) Down!
CARMINE DEL GADO: You're making a mistake, lady.
MARY BETH: (getting in the passenger door) No mistake.
CARMINE DEL GADO: (to Mary Beth) Hey, what are you doing? Do you have a search warrant?
MARY BETH: Cut the crap, Carmine. What did you do with the ten Mercedeses?
CARMINE DEL GADO: (as Chris frisks him) I don't know what you're talking about.
CHRISTINE: I don't believe you're running that junkyard with your history.
MARY BETH: I'm gonna run the plates and find out where this car lives.
CARMINE DEL GADO: Wait! Hey! Come on, ladies. Can't we talk about this?
MARY BETH: I don't think we have much to discuss.
CHRISTINE: Not with your priors.
MARY BETH: Perhaps he's serious about the persistent felons programme.
CHRISTINE: (as the duo carts him off to the Squad car) You're gonna love it, Carmine. It's tailor-made just for you.
CARMINE DEL GADO: Hey, give me a break, huh? (stopping) Maybe we can work something out.
MARY BETH: No deals. We're in the market for hot cars only.
CHRISTINE: (as they hustle him along) Looks like you're our guy.
CARMINE DEL GADO: (stopping again) Don't be so hasty!
CHRISTINE: Move! All right. Move, dick.
CARMINE DEL GADO: I've got something much bigger.
MARY BETH: Not interested.
CARMINE DEL GADO: Are you gonna pass on a murder tip?
(they stop)
CARMINE DEL GADO: I guess I said the magic word.
(they look at him. Chris straightens his sleeve)

[Police Headquarters corridor]

CHRISTINE: (holding a file) It was the luck of the Irish, Mary Beth. Bobby Johnson's killer handed to us right on a plate! It's gonna be the collar of the year!
MARY BETH: Assuming that Carmine isn't feeding us a line.
CHRISTINE: Are you kidding?
MARY BETH: Beware of grounders.
CHRISTINE: Oh, come on.
MARY BETH: Besides which I never volunteer. It's a matter of principle.
MARY BETH: (pointing to an office) Here it is.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth, wait a minute. There are times when we must set aside out personal philosophies for the greater good.
MARY BETH: Or the collar of the year?
CHRISTINE: (pointing to the file) Look, we give Captain Stewart what we've got. Now if he asks for our assistance in tracking him down, we're certainly not gonna refuse.
MARY BETH: You mean you're gonna present this to him like he's got choice?
CHRISTINE: You've got a suspicious mind, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: I also have a wonderful memory.
CHRISTINE: Look, I cannot help it if these people don't have time to track down every lead. This Task Force is overworked. I understand that Captain Stewart himself is probably up to his eyebrows trying to keep the Press off his back.
(Mary Beth indicates that somebody is coming out of Captain Stewart's office door which has a temporary notice, "Task Force" on it. Joyce Richards storms out. Captain Stewart is behind her)
JOYCE RICHARDS: Then all of a sudden you have nothing to say!
CAPTAIN STEWART: Richards, please, I assure you we're moving on this as quickly as possible.
JOYCE RICHARDS: You know how quickly this Department moved on a shooting in Spanish Harlem. They have three black suspects in custody within the hour!
CAPTAIN STEWART: There we had witnesses! In Queens we had none!
JOYCE RICHARDS: Or maybe the police officer's weapon that killed Bobby Johnson has some bearing on your lack of enthusiasm.
CAPTAIN STEWART: You ...get to hell out of my face!!!
JOYCE RICHARDS: I'll tell the Mayor that you said that.
CAPTAIN STEWART: Don't threaten me lady, please.
JOYCE RICHARDS: This is not a game to me, Captain. I spend my life with the likes of you. Believe you me I'll get to the truth. And I'm not afraid of it.
(Joyce Richards stalks off down the corridor)
CHRISTINE: Captain!
CAPTAIN STEWART: What do you want?
CHRISTINE: Only to make your life easier, sir.
(Chris follows him into the office. Mary Beth hesitates before following)

[Queens street]

MARY BETH: His name is James O'Neal. (handing a photo to one of four young, white, male teenagers) Anybody know him?
CHRISTINE: Did any of you see him around the neighbourhood?
(one shakes his head)
TEENAGER #1: (another, handing the photo back) It's about the spade who was shot a few nights back, right?
MARY BETH: (holding up a photo of Bobby Johnson) It's about a young black man who was killed a few nights back.
TEENAGER #1: Oh. you confused me, lady. They coons come down here like they own the place. Mess with our women. Look for trouble. Well, he found it.
CHRISTINE: So you can't help us, eh?
TEENAGER #2: Anyone who kills the spooks is a friend of us.
TEENAGER #1: When you find who did it, tell them we said 'Keep up the good work'.
MARY BETH: The milk of human kindness is certainly struggling in this neighbourhood.
(an elderly, white, female shopkeeper comes up)
SHOPKEEPER: They talk a big game, Officer. But I know more. They're just kids. Who are you looking for?
CHRISTINE: (handing her a photo) Do you recognise this face?
SHOPKEEPER: No, can't say I do. Faces I never forget. It's a shame about that Johnson boy.
MARY BETH: Yeah. Too bad more of your neighbours don't share that opinion.
SHOPKEEPER: Come on! Nobody likes a murder. That kid should have been more careful. What were they doing down here at one in the morning. He knew he shouldn't have been here. They are neighbourhoods I wouldn't even go into. Look, people worry about crime going up. They see somebody hanging around who doesn't fit, they get scared. I'm not saying it's right about that kid. That's the way it is. Personally I hope you get him.
SHOPKEEPER: Thank you. (the shopkeeper goes inside her shop) You heard enough?
MARY BETH: Yeah, for one day. You know, Harvey and I looked for a house in this neighbourhood.
CHRISTINE: Mary Beth,...
MARY BETH: And the kids could have been hanging out with those punks.
CHRISTINE: You would not have liked it.
MARY BETH: They could have been buying shooters at that lady's store.
CHRISTINE: They could not. You don't live here, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: It's fifteen minutes away. I wonder what else the people in my neighbourhood are teaching their kids.
CHRISTINE: Look, you can't change the whole world, Mary Beth. I'm sorry for those kids' minds.
MARY BETH: The lady is worse. Underneath that old white apron and all the smooth talk, she doesn't even know she's a monster.
(Chris gets in the Squad car)

[AA meeting room]

(applause dies away)
AA LEADER: OK, anyone else wanna share?
(the leader looks at, nods to Chris who is sitting just behind her, and tries to make her stand up. Chris pulls her arm away. Nobody says anything)
CHRISTINE: (standing up) Er... My name is Christine. I'm an alcoholic.
ALL: Hi, Christine.
CHRISTINE: The only reason I'm talking is because my sponsor says 'I should be a part of', whatever that means. So, I wanna say, I'd kill for a Scotch. Thank you for letting me share.
(applause)

[Samuels' office]

SAMUELS: (shouting from the door) Cagney, Lacey, in my office.
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant?
MARY BETH: Morning, sir.
SAMUELS: Close the door, will you, Lacey. Nice of you two to join us this morning.
CHRISTINE: (looking at her watch) Well, about the time, Lieutenant,...
SAMUELS: Oh please, Cagney, it's not necessary. I know that if you two come in here three hours into your shift, you've got a good reason. I trust you judgement.
CHRISTINE: But I'd like to...
SAMUELS: And that is why I don't worry whenever the Brass occasionally complains about the loose shift that I'm running here. I just point to this Squad's exemplary record and then I can look my superiors straight in the eye and say with a clear conscience that my people are out there ...giving two hundred percent! Working their cases at all times...
MARY BETH: Sir.
SAMUELS: ...because they are professionals.
CHRISTINE: Well, Thank you, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: So, you can imagine my surprise, eh, when I get a phone call from er, Captain Stewart, of the Queens Task Force, wanting to thank me for a temporary loan of two of my detectives.
CHRISTINE: It isn't exactly a loan...
SAMUELS: How can this be, I ask myself? Cagney and Lacey are busy working on a Mercedes ring. Must be some kind of a mistake. And that's when I get a phone call from Joyce Richards (shouting) wanting to know why in hell two detectives from the same precinct as the gun implicated in the Johnson homicide (shouting even louder and pointing his finger) are working on the same damn Task Force!!! (silence) Now ...you can speak!!
CHRISTINE: We were gonna tell you...
MARY BETH: ...about Carmine Del Gado.
CHRISTINE: We think he's connected with the Mercedes ring, right? So we bring him in. (laughing) This is good, Lieutenant.
SAMUELS: I don't want to even hear it, Cagney. Lacey?
MARY BETH: When we leaned on him, sir, he gave us a name. James O'Neal.
CHRISTINE: Carmine has a cousin who swears that O'Neal is the one who's responsible for the Queens killing.
MARY BETH: (handing him the record sheet with a photo) O'Neal has a record. Now if Bobby Johnson is killed in Queens, what brought them together?
CHRISTINE: Kismet?
SAMUELS: So you two decided to assign yourselves to the case?
CHRISTINE: Lieutenant, please, we ...offered a helping hand. ...It seemed a shame to turn over a lead that would ...well, bring some sunshine to the Fourteenth.
SAMUELS: Selling swamp plans too, Cagney?
(there is a knock at the door. Coleman comes in)
COLEMAN: Excuse me, Lieutenant, Joyce Richards is here to see Cagney and Lacey.
CHRISTINE: Let her wait.
COLEMAN: Er, she's like a bad itch, Lieutenant. She's not gonna go away before she gets scratched.
SAMUELS: All right! Talk to her. But be careful (he hands back the record sheet to Mary Beth) ...and come back here. We're not finished.
CHRISTINE: Thank you, Lieutenant.
COLEMAN: (to Chris) Your lucky day, ladies.

[Detectives' Squad room]

CHRISTINE: (shaking Joyce Richards' hand) Sergeant Cagney.
MARY BETH: (putting the record sheet on her desk) I'm Detective Lacey, Miss. Richards.
JOYCE RICHARDS: I understand that you have something regarding the Bobby Johnson homicide.
CHRISTINE: The Department is following up on every possible lead. Yes.
JOYCE RICHARDS: Good. We're all anxious to put this ...ugly mess behind us.
MARY BETH: Yes, ma'am.
JOYCE RICHARDS: (pointing to the record sheet) Is this... this the photo you've been circulating in Queens?
MARY BETH: We're trying to locate this man. Yes.
JOYCE RICHARDS: May I? (Mary Beth hands her the record sheet. Chris looks disapprovingly at Mary Beth) This is a mug shot.
MARY BETH: The man we're looking for has a criminal record.
JOYCE RICHARDS: What happened to Detective Corassa?
CHRISTINE: Look, lady, we've got a lot of work to do. All right,...
JOYCE RICHARDS: Does this ex-con live in the neighbourhood where Bobby Johnson was murdered? (no reply) Oh! Ha! I get the status. A nice little ploy to take the heat off, huh?
CHRISTINE: Actually it's a nice little ploy to try and get to the truth.
JOYCE RICHARDS: A nice little ploy to say it wasn't a cop! (Petrie is listening) Wasn't anyone from the neighbourhood. It was just a common criminal!! It wasn't a racial killing because we don't have that particular problem here in New York City, right? (no reply) Where is Detective Corassa?
MARY BETH: (starting to answer) He's...
CHRISTINE: No!!
JOYCE RICHARDS: Of course. The police vernacular for hiding.
CHRISTINE: Now you listen to me...
PETRIE: (coming up) I understand how you feel, Miss. Richards, but that is not what's going on here.
JOYCE RICHARDS: (looking Petrie up and down) Don't tell me, a new black!
PETRIE: Officially I can't talk to you but I can tell you, off the record, that Detective Corassa was here that night. I was.
JOYCE RICHARDS: I should have known. Why do I have the feeling that I've been here before?
PETRIE: It's the truth!
JOYCE RICHARDS: Because you say so?
PETRIE: You'll have your day in court, Miss. Richards. Why not let the Department finish its investigation?
JOYCE RICHARDS: This case was put on low priority just because the victim's black!!
PETRIE: There is a Task Force...
JOYCE RICHARDS: That's dragging its heels!! This is how a lynching gets handled down South!
PETRIE: It's still an unsolved homicide. Until we know more, that's all it is.
JOYCE RICHARDS: It's that simple, huh? You're a real token. Do you have children, a house and all?
PETRIE: I think we're finished here, Miss. Richards.
(she picks up her briefcase and leaves)
COLEMAN: Can you believe that cracker? (Petrie looks round at Coleman and walks away) Hey, Marcus.
ISBECKI: (to Coleman) Leave him alone.

[Laceys' kitchen]

MARY BETH: I feel like that Rod Steiger, "In the Heat of the Night" rousting Sidney Poitier. Hey, what is this? South Africa! Black kid walking through a white neighbourhood past midnight and I'm supposed to ask 'Why?'.
HARVEY: (reading a document) Mm hm.
MARY BETH: Do you know how many black people we bust compared to white people? ...Do you?! (he nods) Harvey!
HARVEY: You're absolutely right, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Would you stop it with the mail?
HARVEY: Honey, I don't believe it. The tickets, they finally came. Tomorrow night. "Les Miserables".
MARY BETH: Tomorrow night?
HARVEY: Yeah.
MARY BETH: Let's exchange them, Harvey.
HARVEY: What, are you crazy?
MARY BETH: There's a potluck dinner. It's the white shirts and the black shirts. The families are getting together. I'd like for us all to go.
HARVEY: Mary Beth, we've waited three months for this!
MARY BETH: So we could wait another three months.
HARVEY: What do you want me to do? Sit here and nod my head. 'Yes, OK'. I'll nod my head 'Yes'. The world is a terrible place we live in, Mary Beth.
MARY BETH: Last year on that bank robbery, Chris and I stopped a black man carrying a briefcase. It turns out he's a lawyer on his way back to his own office. We wouldn't have stopped him if he was white.
HARVEY: You were following your instincts.
MARY BETH: Cop instincts?! Or somewhere in the back of my head am I still some little girt from a lilywhite neighbourhood in South Boston.
HARVEY: Oh, come on, Mary Beth, you're trying to treat everybody the same.
MARY BETH: Harvey, I never forget they're black.
HARVEY: Well, that's not automatically bad. That's one of the colours we come in.

[Detectives' Squad room]

CHRISTINE: (into phone) '...didn't hear anything'. (she rings off) I love it. So much for the Task Force.
MARY BETH: (reading from some notes she has made on her phone enquiries) 'I must have been sound asleep but I am a very heavy sleeper'
CHRISTINE: A thirty-eight may not be a cannon but at one in the morning there ought to be somebody up.
CORASSA: (coming in with Bernice) One of, what is it, of fifteen hundred homicides this year.
PETRIE: Go over to 137th Street and lay that on Mr. and Mrs. Johnson!
CORASSA: There you go, putting words in my mouth again.
BERNICE: Come on, Al, before they send you home for good.
CORASSA: (to Petrie) Look, maybe I said some stupid things. But this hasn't been easy for me either.
(Corassa walks away. Petrie turns and sees Isbecki looking at him. Petrie shakes his head)
CHRISTINE: It has been tough on him.
MARY BETH: Not enough.
CHRISTINE: Let's get back to work, all right?
MARY BETH: Right, we've got a killing to investigate.
CHRISTINE: Would you have been happier, maybe, if it had been a lynching?
MARY BETH: We've got people jumping down our throats on the word of a stoolie.
CHRISTINE: If he wasn't a reliable stoolie he'd be sweating it out at Rikers right now.
MARY BETH: For all we knew James O'Neal had him away for a bet.
CHRISTINE: James O'Neal was from Brooklyn. Johnson was from Harlem. So what was he doing hanging out at Queens at that hour?
MARY BETH: Christine, I know where you're headed on this and I don't like it.
CHRISTINE: Well, fine, then stay on the short-end waves! If Johnson was such a choirboy what was he doing hanging out with a guy who's got priors on everything from purse snatching to grand larceny auto! He'd got no reason to be with such a perp!
MARY BETH: Could we push past the idle speculation and get back to the evidence, please. 'On the day he was murdered Bobby was happier than I've ever seen him before'. This was this Jacob Gold kid says.
CHRISTINE: It's the kind of thing teenagers say. Maybe he was happy on drugs.
MARY BETH: You're getting cynical, Christine. 'We were driving out to Jones Beach on Saturday. Then Bobby got...' Driving?!
CHRISTINE: So?
MARY BETH: Do you know what insurance costs for a teenage driver?
CHRISTINE: Now who's getting cynical?
MARY BETH: This kid's a box boy. Minimum wage.
CHRISTINE: Gee, the Task Force did a great job following up on this citizen. Do you wanna go for a ride?

[Fast food shop]

MARY BETH: Miss. Whitman, all we wanna do is talk with Jacob.
FRANCIS WHITMAN: Talk to him? Look I've got half-staff. I've got heart disease! This job isn't easy. I've got two double-craps yesterday.
CHRISTINE: Francis, we're not here to ask about the secret sauce. He went with his friend, Bobby Johnson, to Jones Beach.
FRANCIS WHITMAN: His friend was shot down in cold blood. What do you want from me? Do you think you could do it some other time? Like, say, after work.
CHRISTINE: Now we could continue down at the station. Do you wanna tell your boss you won't be coming back for a few hours?
MARY BETH: And you might be late for work tomorrow. Francis, do you know what conspiracy means?

[Interview room]

CHRISTINE: Where did you park it, Jacob?
JACOB GOLD: (a young, white teenager) Park what?
CHRISTINE: Your car.
JACOB GOLD: I don't have one.
CHRISTINE: Well, neither did Bobby. So how are you gonna drive to Jones Beach?
MARY BETH: That is what your statement says.
JACOB GOLD: Look, I missed the bus. I told the other detectives everything I know.
MARY BETH: Withholding evidence. Preventing prosecution. You're going under fast, Jacob.
JACOB GOLD: I'm not lying.
MARY BETH: So what are you hiding?
CHRISTINE: Evasive statement is an offence. You were with Bobby and you know what happened to him.
JACOB GOLD: I was at my girlfriend's the whole night.
CHRISTINE: Well, we talked to Francis but she wasn't willing to risk her career in deep fat.
MARY BETH: Come on, Jacob. The DA is gonna charge you as a material witness. You'll get three years, two years and he'll keep on charging you till you turn grey.
JACOB GOLD: What are you talking about. I didn't do anything.
CHRISTINE: OK, fine, Jacob, let's go. (to Mary Beth) Start the paperwork. What do you think, Detective? About a week before he starts wearing nail polish.
JACOB GOLD: (as they are going out the door) Come on give me a break here!
MARY BETH: We're past that, buster.
JACOB GOLD: Look, he's crazy.
CHRISTINE: Who's crazy?
JACOB GOLD: The guy's nuts.
MARY BETH: Who?! (showing him a photo) Is this the man? ...Look at him. ...Do you know this man?

[Detectives' Squad room]

(the duo comes down the stairs from the interview room)
CHRISTINE: OK, listen up all you crackers. Wops! Niggers! Chinks! Spics! Micks! Kites! And Polaks! (she has the whole Squad room's attention) Did I leave anybody out? ...Good. Because it's the last time that I wanna hear those words in this place! (to Mary Beth) All right.
MARY BETH: We have an eyewitness on the Bobby Johnson homicide.
CHRISTINE: We're talking about a hot car deal gone sour.
MARY BETH: Bobby Johnson had saved up his money to buy the car of his dreams. Jim O'Neal had one at the right price. They agreed to meet in Queens.
CHRISTINE: O'Neal welched on the deal. Took Johnson's money and blew him away! That's it!! There was nothing racial about it.
PETRIE: Thank you, Judge Cagney.
CHRISTINE: Now you look, Detective,...
PETRIE: What do you know about it anyway, Sergeant? What do you know about niggers, Micks and kites? Would you like to be called a spoilt, hunking bitch?! (getting emotional) How about ...lush?!! (Esposito tries to stop him) Shut up!!! Does that measure up to gook?! Or Hebe?!!! Or coon?!! (shouting at the top of his voice) Would you like to explain that to my daughter, Lauren?!!! (silence) That's what I did last night!!!
(Petrie goes and slumps into his chair. Chris goes and sits at her desk. Mary Beth sits at hers)
CHRISTINE: I think I know what he means now. How about you? You're going to see "Les Miserables", right? Tonight?
MARY BETH: Change of plan.
CHRISTINE: I'll fill Samuels in on the details and call Captain Stewart and shall we head to the bar?
MARY BETH: Sure.
(Chris leaves the room. Mary Beth goes across to Petrie)
PETRIE: Maybe Joyce Richards was wrong this time. But that doesn't mean it doesn't happen.
MARY BETH: Marcus, don't hurt yourself. ...How is Lauren?
PETRIE: A little wiser maybe.
MARY BETH: Maybe some of us are too.
PETRIE: I hope so.
COLEMAN: Petrie, you better get going. You and Isbecki are up. A bunch of white kids just stabbed a black kid, 14th and Broadway.

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