61st Street (2022) s01e07 Episode Script

The Two Trials

Previously on "61st Street" Don't move! Fire! - We found the bullet.
- They shot at my boy.
If I can help you with anything, hit me up.
So you her boyfriend now? I heard you made a big thing about Rufus Porter.
- He was a snitch.
- Oh, my God.
Rufus knew about our deal with the Faction, so he had to go.
- I want to hear it.
- Jessica I want to hear it.
You would be in the middle of what he was doing.
You haven't taken one pill! The side effects I've got to be strong.
I've got to be ready.
The image you're about to see is graphic and disturbing, but it's your duty to look at it.
Officer Michael Rossi died a violent death, and this is the man who killed him.
Officer Rossi died because he was doing his job that day.
Guns and drugs were recovered on the corner.
Drugs were found in the Johnson home.
It's a home occupied by three people Moses, his mother, Norma, and his younger brother, Joshua.
A Nation gang member fired his weapon during the corner drug bust.
Moses' father is an established leader of that gang.
So, I guess you could say Moses drug-dealing gangbanger from a family of drug-dealing gangbangers - Was doing his job that day as well.
- No.
- Your Honor - Counselor? there's no evidence that Moses, his mother, or brother are drug dealers or gang members.
Motherwell here is misleading the jury.
No way.
Get up here, both of you.
What else were they doing on that corner? You see? There it is.
I just can't let an invitation to crazy prejudice go, Your Honor.
Are you suggesting that my remarks are racist? I can't think of another word.
- Jesus Christ.
- That's enough.
Counselor, withdraw that comment and apologize.
I won't do it, Your Honor.
I'd be lying if I did.
He ran from the scene.
Somehow, that's not evidence? That's me being racist? I mean, the drugs were found under her mattress.
And we all know how they got there.
Then you can cross examine on that.
Carry on, Ms.
This is a trial about state of mind.
What was Moses Johnson's state of mind at the time he caused the death of Michael Rossi? Look at his expression in the photograph.
Is there any better evidence of what's in a man's mind than the look on his face? Seconds after that, Michael Rossi was on the ground with a catastrophic head injury that ended his life.
It's simple.
Just look at the picture.
In the words of another lawyer in another city not so long ago Believe your own eyes.
Yeah, you know what? I'm gonna walk.
What are you talking about? No, no.
Walk? Listen, the GPS says this is gonna clear up, alright? It's gonna clear up.
Do you know what it takes to be this? 4:00 A.
wake-ups, two-a-day workouts six days a week, a minutely calibrated diet.
How hard is that in a food desert? Maintaining a 3.
8 GPA, perfect attendance, honors program.
You know what it takes to be that? It takes discipline, dedication, and focus.
The question I have for all of you all today is that, while he's doing all of this and all of that, where he does he find the time to deal drugs and do gang shit? Counselor.
I-I-I'm sorry, Your Honor.
I'm sorry.
I'm sorry.
See, I'd like to speak my English, not the courtroom English during this trial.
See, I-I'm from the South Side, and I want to speak how we speak.
This trial is about us, and I think the words should be our words.
Thank you.
Let me tell you something.
A full time corner boy, 17, and never been busted? That's a first.
And a gang member that spends most of his time running around the track instead of his corner? That's unique.
So, I'mma go straight to the part of your thinking where Ms.
Motherwell here just wants you to limit yourself, and I'm gonna ask you the question that she wants you to ask.
If you ain't got nothing to hide, why run? See, I think Ms.
Motherwell here just answered that question by making her assumption and presumptions, assuming and presuming you share them.
Here we go.
Black male on a corner in proximity to other Black males equals drug dealer/gang member/someone to be scared of.
Never mind the fact that he's 100 feet away from the house he lived in his whole life.
We're not looking at that.
We're not seeing that.
We're just seeing his blackness.
And when a young Black man is seen through a white lens, lazy prejudice provides a story about who he is and what he's doing.
See, but what I want to do is step away from lazy and think better.
Moses feared for his life, and so he ran.
Was he right to fear for his life? We say yes.
Was he right to resist? Hmm.
Let's ask somebody.
Let's ask Laquan McDonald.
Let's ask Philando Castile.
Let's ask Michael Brown, Tamir Rice.
Let's ask George Floyd.
We can't.
They're dead.
Was Moses Johnson right to do everything he could to make sure that his name did not end up on that long list of young Black men and women that were killed by police? We say yes.
We say it was his self-defense.
Now, Ms.
Motherwell wants you to look at one frozen moment in time, out of context, and draw from it conclusions about what Moses Johnson was thinking and feeling in this moment.
She wants you to narrow your thinking.
In fact, she doesn't want you to think much at all.
We want you to go wide and understand what was in his mind by seeing the world from his point of view, not your own.
Is that expression on his face Is that anger, or is it fear? Is that violence in his eyes? Or is it terror? She wants you to look at him.
I want you to imagine being him.
That's the difference between the two of us.
What I'm asking you to do is exercise your imagination in place of your prejudice.
Now, I-I-I'm a little nervous and a little scared, because, as divided as this country is and as tribal as we've become, I believe we've lost the ability to step into someone else's shoes and walk around.
But it is my hope and my prayer that you will prove my fear unfounded and bring in a verdict based on the real understanding of who Moses Johnson is, not who the world wants him to be.
Thank you.
Stop, stop and frisk.
Stop it.
Every 800 stops the cops make, they find a gun.
Every 800.
At what cost? That's 800 Black people scared to death, frightened, that That if they make one false move, they'll get killed.
Let the tail lights be.
Right? Let them be.
Until we figure out how to halt the epidemic of Black death at the hands of law enforcement, we have to stop their encounters with us.
Izzy, we are living in a-a-a permanent state of fear, and there's a word for that.
It is called terrorism.
The Chicago Police Department is a terrorist organization.
That's a big word.
And it is one that I have considered carefully.
Does your husband agree with what you've just been saying? My husband doesn't have to agree with anything that I say or do.
Girl, you just lit it up.
Did I? Social media's going crazy.
Chicago Police are terrorists.
- Okay.
- They are.
Photo op at the Rufus shrine.
Uh, no.
It's good to put a face to a name.
The Tribune's sending a reporter, AP and Reuters want a picture of your feet.
This is going national.
You just became a big story, Martha Roberts.
I said no, Marisol.
Is this about Franklin? 'Cause the way I look at it, if he's well enough to be in court, you need to stay out here and keep doing what you do.
Martha, when I listen to you, you inspire me, and you move people to action.
Let's go.
You can't park here.
Move on.
Yeah, this is Norma Johnson.
Uh, uh, her son's on trial.
I don't care if she's the Queen of Sheba.
Move on.
- My man, she's late.
- Phil.
You really want to stop a mother from seeing her son? That's it.
Out of the van.
I'm just telling you.
She has to get in Out of the van.
- Put your hands on the van.
- Wow.
Go in.
Go in.
I'm good.
I'm good.
Go in.
Go in.
- Come on, big man.
- Wow.
Come on.
The defense wants to talk about context.
He thinks I don't.
Well, he's wrong.
Is this a speech or Or a question? I think it's a-a speech.
I'm I'm sorry, Your Honor.
That That's my son.
What's the story with this corner? It's an open air drug market.
18, 19 hours a day.
Who runs it? The Nation.
Members of the gang were out dealing when we arrived that day.
What happened? They took off running once they saw us.
We were able to apprehend five.
As we suspected, we found sleet on scene.
Sleet? - Heroin.
- Hmm.
Fentanyl blend.
It's a drug to die for and people do.
It's also what we found in the Johnson home.
It was on this corner.
In this context, with these drugs on sale, run by this gang, where you arrested the defendant's brother? Joshua Johnson was apprehended at the scene.
Was the accused present? 10 feet from his brother.
Five feet from the gang member with the gun.
In the mix, on the corner.
What did he do when you arrived? He ran.
Were you present when the Johnson family home was searched? - Yes, I was.
- Was anything found? We found that under her mattress.
Lab tests show it came from the same batch we seized on the corner.
What was the quantity of sleet found in the Johnson home? Enough to make me wonder whether she might be the depot supplying the corner.
She? Norma Johnson.
Have you come across something like this before? The mule dressed as a nun.
I'm sorry? Nobody's gonna stop and search a bride of Christ at the airport.
Just like nobody suspects the homemaker mom is the heart of a drug business.
- You found drugs in the Johnson home? - Correct.
Enough for a possession with intent to distribute rap? Yeah.
Who did you charge? Nobody.
I'm sorry? Nobody.
Who did you arrest? No one.
Wait Wait a minute.
I don't understand.
Two minutes ago, you said that Norma Johnson was a player in a major drug dealing business causing untold damage in her community.
We were looking for her son.
Why can't you do two things at once? It about priorities.
It was about you planting drugs.
- We don't do that.
- Okay.
Do you know what the minimum wage is? 20 bucks.
Norma Johnson makes $15.
50 an hour cleaning this entire courthouse.
Is this a speech or a question? How many kingpin drug dealers do you know work night shifts cleaning public toilets? I don't do rhetorical questions, Officer.
Thank you.
Your boy was soft as hell.
Want me to rough you up a little? Maybe kick you in the nuts so Norma can nurse them better later? Yeah, very funny, Lieutenant.
Remember what I told you at the start of this? No, I don't.
Don't fall in love, and wear a condom.
How's that going? I'm a pro, boss.
I know you are.
So, what have you got for me? The brother.
Okay, thank you, Lieutenant.
Didn't ask about the brother in there.
Joshua is a traumatized child.
I'm trying to keep him out of this.
It's funny how trauma affects people.
What do you want? How is all this being paid for? The community knows when one of its own needs support.
That include the drug dealing community? Who knew they were so philanthropic? What are you talking about? Giving Joshua a job on the corner so that he can help pay for you.
It's heartwarming.
Where are you getting this? Come on.
You know I'm not revealing my sources.
You could always ask your wife.
What does this have to do with Martha? See, I've been puzzling why a firebrand like her hasn't wanted to talk about the Moses case more.
Now I know.
Her husband is getting paid out of the sale of street heroin.
That kind of dirty money in the family doesn't look so good when you're standing for election on a fuck the police platform.
Call me if you want to quote your denial or whatever.
It's true.
You You know? How? Rufus' mother, Janet Porter.
And you didn't tell me? 'Cause of what I know about her.
What? What What do you know about her? Martha, this is the end of your candidacy, my career, Moses' chances.
You have to tell me.
Rufus was a snitch.
Wh What? - Okay.
- Franklin, Franklin.
You can't use this.
If they know about what Rufus was doing, they're gonna come after Janet.
The Nation is going to come after her.
You know how this goes.
You know.
Leave it alone.
Defense counsel in the case of Moses Johnson, please come to the court immediately.
Yo, homie, Dante needs you to come through the spot.
For what? He needs you to come through now.
Alright, man.
The Judge is waiting, Counselor.
Be safe.
- Counselor.
- Coming.
How did you get Moses' name from his brother Joshua? I talked to him.
That's it? Yeah.
Take a look at this, please.
It's a copy of the record of Joshua being booked into the precinct by the Custody Sergeant.
What time did he arrive? 1:42.
Here he is leaving again.
Time code 2:15 on the video.
- Is that on the record? - No.
Should it be? Yeah.
Here he is coming back.
Two hours and nine minutes later.
Is that on the record? No.
Should it be? Did you take him out for ice cream, Officer? Thank you, Officer.
No, I want to know.
That's enough, young man.
Did you take him out for ice cream? - Young man, that is enough.
- Did you? No, it's not enough.
I want to know.
That is enough.
Where we going? Hey.
They let you go? They didn't charge you? Just made their feelings clear.
They hurt you? You know what I did in there, right? Kept thinking of you.
And then they couldn't get to me.
Where were you when the accused started talking? He started talking in the car on the way to the station.
Is that unusual? I've seen it so many times.
They feel better.
It's called conscience.
Funny how it goes away once a lawyer steps in.
Objection, Your Honor.
Would you care to rephrase that? Okay.
The last thing a lawyer wants to be stuck with in a system like ours is the truth.
He needs his own version of it, and to get that, he'll manipulate and maneuver his client into telling him what he wants to hear.
Truth leaves the room when the lawyer walks in.
They're storytellers.
Do you have children, Lieutenant? Two boys.
17 and 15.
"Pursuant to my attempt to escape, there was physical contact between myself and the police officer.
" - Your 15-year-old ever sound like that? - No.
"Pursuant to"? "Physical contact"? Sound like South Side talk? Eh, straight outta Woodlawn? You write this? He started talking.
I listened.
We wrote it down.
This is a department report of your shootings in the line of duty.
Do you know how many people you've shot? Every working cop remembers - each time they fired their weapon.
- Mm-hmm.
I've had 6 shootings in my 23 years on the job.
You know how many of these were Black men? - All of them.
- Mm.
Just protecting my guys.
Should I not protect them because of the color of the skin of the men threatening them? Let's talk about the last of these six shootings.
What's the answer to my question? Or are you avoiding answering it? You don't get to ask the questions in here, Lieutenant.
As you well know.
He had a weapon.
He fired it.
Police lives and the lives of others were in immediate danger.
Was there an investigation into his death? I went before the review board.
How long did that take? I testified for an hour.
The board ruled it was a good shoot.
Can you tell me about the CPD shootings the board have decided were bad shoots? No.
- Why not? - Can't think of any.
The whole weight of the criminal justice system is bearing down on Moses, here, today.
You shoot Rufus.
One hour? Case was clear cut.
When you arrived on the corner, were there other cops with you? - Yes.
- How many? - All with weapons drawn? - Yes.
- Any of them fire at Rufus? - No.
But you did.
You made the decision to end his life.
That was you.
I've been doing this job 23 years.
I can think clearly under pressure.
So it wasn't a gut reaction.
It was It was calculated.
Look, when a shot is fired by a civilian and you're in close, a lot of officers' first reaction is the same passive.
The first three seconds are about self-protection.
You flinch, you're shocked, then you react.
As a leader of men, I'm trained to do better than that.
I have to be the first to respond because I'm in charge.
So, on that day, I was able to go straight to reaction.
- The right reaction.
- Maybe the other six officers had a better understanding of of context.
Or maybe I saved their lives.
You took a life without understanding all that was going on.
Rufus wasn't a danger to your colleagues.
You assumed he was.
You presumed he was.
I violated no police procedure.
What's his name? Rufus.
Rufus what? I don't recall.
What would you think of me if I didn't remember your dead colleague's last name? What if I said, "Michael who?" What would you think of me? Look, I-I-I'm sorry about your colleague's death.
I really am.
But is Rufus Porter's life less important, less worthy than Michael Rossi's? All lives matter.
What are your children's names? Mark and Luke.
Mark and Luke.
Have you given Mark and Luke the talk? What to do when they encounter a police officer? Not necessary.
Why not? Because they're white? Just not needed.
All Black parents have that conversation with their children, bar none.
Are they wrong? All of them? Yes.
Is Moses safe to put his hands up like Michael Brown and Adam Toledo? Is Does he have Is he entitled to, uh, a little bit of fear that the policeman will put a bullet in him anyway? Now you're making assumptions and presumptions about all of us because of the uniform we wear.
- There's a name for that.
- There is.
And it's called institutional racism, and your failure to see it? That's the problem.
Roberts? Martha? That in there? Word for word.
He is me.
I am him.
He spoke for all of us.
Write that down in your paper.
I'm going to ask you to do the hard part first.
Will you tell us about Michael Rossi's last moment on Earth? What did you see when you arrived to the scene? Um you know that picture of Cassius Clay standing over Sonny Liston after he knocked him out? Mm-hmm.
Like he's taunting him? That's it.
That's what I saw.
What did you do? The moment he saw me, the defendant took off.
Uh, up and over the containers.
And Michael was, uh, just lying there.
Wasn't moving.
I went over.
I tried I tried to help him a-and Hey.
Take your time.
Well, his head was Was bleeding, uh, from a head injury.
Th-Th-There was a lot of blood.
What did you do? I tried.
I-I-I tried to keep him with me.
I kept trying.
I'm s I'm sorry.
- Do you recognize these? - Yes.
The clothes I was wearing that day.
And the blood stains? Michael's.
He's doing well in there.
You're fucking him, aren't you? ShotSpotter picked up three different shots within the vicinity and timeframe of the incident.
Two that we can account for.
One shot from a weapon belonging to Rufus Porter.
The second from Lieutenant Brannigan.
3 minutes and 55 seconds later, a third shot was fired.
Now, your incident report made no mention of you drawing your weapon.
Because I didn't.
So, the third shot wasn't you? Wasn't me.
You're sure about that? I didn't fire my gun.
How long have you had your service weapon? Six years.
And it was the weapon you carried with you on the day in question? Yes.
Did you bring your weapon with you to court today? Yes.
Where is it? In a locker downstairs.
Your Honor, the defense admits into evidence a 9 millimeter bullet found in the vicinity of the incident.
We request that Officer Logan's service weapon be retrieved immediately for ballistic testing against the bullet.
You got to be kidding me.
Get up here, both of you.
They don't have the bullet.
They have a bullet.
The ballistics tests we'd run can't be done without notice.
We're mid-trial.
We are being ambushed here.
I agree.
But Office Logan is expert enough.
He can tell if the bullet fits the gun.
That's a yes or no.
We'll take it from there.
Let the record show that the Deputy is being ordered by the court to retrieve Officer Logan's service weapon.
Court will remain in session in the duration.
Retrieved a .
45-caliber Smith & Wesson handgun from the courthouse locker assigned to Officer Logan.
Defense Exhibit C.
Your Honor, may I approach? Your Honor, there seems to be a mix-up.
- It's It's not - I gave you a lot of leeway to introduce this evidence impromptu, so I'm gonna insist you get on with it.
Yes, Your Honor.
What's the question, Counselor? We're all waiting.
Is this your service weapon, Officer? It's my gun.
And this is the same gun you carried on the day? Same one.
I remind you that you are under oath.
It's my gun.
Moving on, Counselor.
Your Honor, we ask that the record reflect Officer Logan's weapon is a .
45-caliber pistol.
It does not match the 9 millimeter slug the defense has submitted for evidence.
He's lying, isn't he? Can we talk? There's There's something you need to know.
You're scaring me.
What you've been doing is a wonderful thing, Miss Norma.
You God knows where you found the strength to campaign and raise money and It's my son.
It's only money.
Yeah, but that's That's the thing.
What? The money.
It's dirty.
We got the money from friends and the community - and Joshua's been - Joshua.
Joshua what? He's not working.
What do you mean Joshua's not working? He's selling.
That's where the money's coming from.
Where is he? Come on, boy.
Open that shit up.
Come on, boy.
The boys didn't hear nothing last night then, huh? I see you learned that lesson well.
If you gonna steal, steal it all.
When was you gonna tell me about this? Yo, how long you known about this, man? Yo, get up out of here, bro.
Get up out of here, bro! - Ooh.
- Huh? About what? About my baby brother who I've been a father to for years while you been away.
Do you hear me? Who I've been a father to.
I did your job 'cause you weren't there, and now you do this? What is wrong with you, man? He wanted in.
He's smart.
He's bringing in paper and earning his keep.
Yeah, I respect that.
You respect that? What is wrong with you? What kind of man are you? Hmm? The kind of man who knows what's best for his boys.
- Yeah.
- Alright? - Alright? - Alright.
Joshua ain't a track star like you.
He's taking care of his mother and himself more than you can or ever will be.
Be somebody's daddy for once in your life, bro.
That's what you need to do.
Why am I even here? I'm gonna go out there and pull him off - of whatever corner he's on.
- No, no, no.
Come here.
No, no, no.
You let me do that.
Alright? Come on.
Come on.
Come on.
How'd they know about the gun? How would they know about a thing like that? - Yeah? - Yeah, Brannigan? Yeah, Joshua.
Yeah, I need help finding him.
Pop the glovebox.
Hand it to me.
I know you took money, too.
I know.
I And I shouldn't have.
I-I needed it.
So, what you think happens now? I don't know.
Sure you do.
Betrayed the trust I put in you.
Hey, hey, hey, hey.
Dante, wait, man.
Come on, man.
You ain't got to do this, man.
I Hey, man, you you ain't got to You ain't got to do this.
Ah, ah, ah, ah.
I owe your old man From way back.
Not killing you now, that's my debt to Speak.
You do this again Ah.
You mine now.
And this yours now.
We gonna get TJ.
In the meantime, you best stay strapped.
I need to see if you about this life for real.
Watch your back, lil' man.
I don't care who we take down.
These people are all the same to me.
But they have got to be paying for that pass The Faction.
Paying who? It's just where the heat is now.
He got a name, your man in The Nation? Yeah.
You got a reception problem in here.
I keep Keep leaving messages.
The reception's fine.
Let me get another one.
My experience? This a good time to start thinking about who you trust to give you a ride home.
You keep drinking, I'll have to take your keys.
Can you really trust anybody these days? That's a hell of a question.
Focuses the mind.
What does? Dying.
I step out the courtroom, you're gone? No heads up, no debrief.
They switched the gun, Nicole.
They switched the damn gun.
How? Franklin.
Somebody warned them.
I told Norma about the bullet, and one other person.
Officer Logan's annual firearms qualification, from six months ago.
His service weapon is listed as a nine millimeter Glock.
He said he had the .
45 for six years.
Yeah, he lied, and this proves it.
I'm not the leak, and I'm not the one keeping secrets, Franklin.
Five bathroom breaks in one day.
My dad passed two kidney stones.
I know what that looks like.
It's not this.
Does Moses know? Or are you lying to him, too? Dylan Thomas.
"Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
" Rage.
Yeah? We got eyes on Joshua.
Hey! Joshua! Your mama knows everything.
It's cool.
But you need to call her now and let her know you're safe then we'll figure how to handle this.
Get in.
It took him two weeks deciding what to get you for your birthday.
He wouldn't stop talking about it.
Should it be black or silver? Does a nine millimeter Glock look better in black or silver? When the Deputy came into court today with that gun, I saw your face, and I watched you decide to lie.
What did you expect me to do?! Tell the truth?! 'Cause you know what that'll mean? That means Michael's killer goes free.
Is that what you want? You want the truth? Well, here's the truth.
I love you.
I love you.
Oh, my Oh, Jesus.
He got a name, - your man in The Nation? - Yeah.
What are you doing? What What is this? It's Tutu.
- Who? - Rufus.
What about him? He was a problem.
For who? For Brannigan.
It was not a good shoot.
It was an execution.
It changes everything.
You can't use this, Franklin.
If you use this, Janet Porter dies.
Franklin, look, if you use this, I can't live with you.
It's Moses or me.
That's your choice.
On the next episode of "61st Street" Tell Dante Martha Roberts needs a face-to-face.
Y'all cowards! Y'all cowards! The judge say the defense you're running is reckless.
We need to get this under control.
There is something foul about your lieutenant.
Michael Rossi was prepared to follow his conscience.
Are you? You had the guns switched? Deputy, remove the jury.
I'm calling you out.

Previous EpisodeNext Episode