Law & Order (1990) s05e13 Episode Script


NARRATOR: In the criminal justice system the people are represented by two separate yet equally important groups, the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders.
These are their stories.
(SIREN WAILING) So, which window's yours anyway? All of them.
The two of you live on four floors? Well, Dad has a lot of clothes.
Are you sure I look okay? You look fine.
(KEYS JINGLING) This should give him a stroke.
Hello, guess who.
Dad? You actually live here? Hello.
Dad, are you home? Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Oh, my God.
Wallace Holbrook.
Shot in the head.
Who called it in? His kid and her boyfriend.
Surprise road trip from college.
Can you imagine coming home to something like this? Where's the girl now? In the kitchen.
She's pretty hysterical.
So, what can you tell us? One very dead body and one very expensive weapon.
Yeah, well, it doesn't look like a robbery to me.
Gun between his legs like that, I'd say he swallowed the barrel.
It's a Perazzi.
Between 10 and 20 grand.
They use it to hunt grouse.
I guess grouse are out of season.
There's no way.
Miss Holbrook, our people went over the scene, and they tell us that Look, he's my dad, isn't he? I'm telling you, there's no way he'd kill himself.
Do you know where your mom is? She died when I was 12.
You know, Krista, sometimes dads hide things from their children.
Maybe other fathers.
He closed some kind of big deal yesterday.
Wait a minute.
You saying you talked to him yesterday before In the morning.
He called to talk about his trip to Europe.
(SNIFFLING) He was supposed to leave on Monday.
That's why I came home.
(CRYING) He was so excited.
He hadn't taken a vacation in two years.
There is no way my father killed himself.
Well, Lennie, you get Detective of the Week.
You're saying it wasn't a suicide? It was a murder.
And judging from digestion of the stomach contents, I'd say it happened around 9:00 pm.
I'd also say the entire scene was staged.
You can tell all that by what he ate for lunch? No, from the blood lividity.
Come here.
Holbrook's blood settled in his back.
Now, if he was killed in the sitting position in which you found him, it would have gathered south of the border.
This guy was stretched out for at least Okay, Rogers, you're so brilliant, how do you explain the blood on the wall behind his head? Well, that would be difficult if the shot was the cause of death.
What, it wasn't? Somebody grabbed your Mister Holbrook from behind and snapped his neck.
The shot through the mouth, it was just for show.
I heard this morning.
I had dinner with him last Tuesday.
So, what is it? You want his personal effects? No, I need to ask you a few questions.
Was everything all right around here? For Holbrook, never better.
Who would ever guess that Fixed Income could do more than a billion? You're saying he made $1 billion? No.
His department traded paper worth that much.
That boils down to about $400 million in profit.
Holbrook's bonus came close to 15.
Does everybody around here make that kind of money? No, Holbrook's department did particularly well last year.
Hell, one of his traders, Bud Greer, 35 years old, took home $7 million.
How did Holbrook spend his money? We make it.
We don't talk about it.
Twelve years.
Nine hours a day.
I spent more time with Mr.
Holbrook than I did with my husband.
Pretty tough boss, huh? Simon Legree, he wasn't.
But he was demanding.
Demanding enough to make enemies? Try everyone on this floor.
You sell door-to-door, you wanna be liked.
You work on Wall Street, you wanna be feared.
The more they tremble, richer you get.
So, who around here feared him the most? You don't think that I don't know.
No way.
I mean, these kids? Yeah, maybe they hate the old man, but give up the zeros he puts on their paychecks? Uh-uh.
I don't think so.
Oh, okay.
Well, yesterday, did he have any after-work appointments in his book? Not that I knew about.
But he did leave early.
Canceled a meeting with two of his traders.
So he canceled a meeting.
What else is new? I'm a junior trader, it's not like I'm high-priority.
What's that mean? You only make half a million this year? I said junior, not stupid.
They tack on a half mill just to put up with Holbrook's crap.
I take it you and he didn't party together.
I only breathed the same air as Wallace Holbrook if I had to.
I guess you're not exactly brokenhearted then.
Let me tell you something about that macho creep.
He had speakers installed so he could publicly humiliate us.
"Do you need a calculator, Mr.
Boggs?" "You buy at 10, you sell at 8, you lose money, Mr.
" The only guy who had an easy ride was Bud Greer.
I have to ask you this.
Where were you last night? On the phone with Tokyo till about 3:00 a.
You can check my phone records.
He cancels a meeting, I don't ask questions.
But it doesn't exactly ruin your day, either? Hey, I knew what I was getting into when I chose this business.
Every day, it's pull down your jockeys and take out the yardstick.
And if you haven't noticed, I don't win that kind of contest.
And Holbrook does? That's why he's got the corner office.
Last night, you didn't happen to assemble at his place for a late-night session? Are you kidding? Me at Holbrook's house? He wouldn't even share a cab.
Look, I'll save you some time, okay.
The only one of us that rates an invite to the palace is Bud.
Bud Greer? You know him? Well, everybody's talking.
Why not? You do half billion in trades, you get a seven mill bonus, and you get invited to dinner.
Any chance you like any of the guys you work with? Give me a break, Detective.
There're only two kinds of men that work on Wall Street.
Standard and poor.
But I hear that peace officers are a whole other story.
You got your yardstick handy? Oh, I got my tape measure.
Let's go see Golden Boy.
(BABY CRYING) Somebody's got to be pulling our chains.
You sure it wasn't East 45th? Well, here it is.
What is it you want? Are you Bud Greer? You work at Jenkins, Clay? You're here about Wallace.
A man that talented.
It's a shame, really, but if you can't take the heat Excuse me? What it is we do for a living.
Let's just say there's a lot of pressure.
And Holbrook couldn't take it, huh? Isn't that obvious? Well, did he say anything, give a signal? The last couple of weeks, his trades were off maybe 10%.
His mind was definitely elsewhere.
You could say he was depressed.
Well, we're thinking maybe it wasn't a suicide.
So, who was it? Which one of my fair-haired associates pointed the finger at me? We're talking to everybody.
Although we were told you were the only one who socialized with the deceased.
Socialized? Any time I spent with Wallace was pure work.
If those other cretins would put in half the time I did Look, I was in his house once in two years.
We spent three hours in his study mapping out trading strategies.
That was six months ago.
BRISCOE: And last night? I was at the office until 8:00.
"Jenkins, Clay and Company, Trader of the Year.
" Impressive.
Thank you.
You ought to think about spending some of it.
Thank you for your advice.
But for me it's not about money, cars or apartments.
What is it about? Power.
By the way, with Holbrook out of the picture, who gets the power now? Well, that would be me, now, wouldn't it? There's more testosterone at Jenkins, Clay than at Gold's Gym.
Smart money says we're walking down the right alley.
There's gotta be, what, 300 people down there? More like 600, counting secretaries and staff, but we're running all the names.
Maybe we'll get lucky.
Oh, yeah.
Maybe we might as well run the telephone book.
You got anything better? Yeah, as a matter of fact, I do.
I say we bring in Mr.
Bud Greer.
Put him through the ringer.
as much on every one of them.
It's weird.
This guy's got more money than God, but he lives worse than I do.
Howard Hughes never clipped his toenails.
Got any homicides we can pin on him? I don't trust him.
We got one winner, Lennie.
A Benjamin Greer.
Assault in '87.
Charges dropped.
Thanks, Gia.
Now I trust him less.
Check him out.
We hired Mr.
Greer for obvious reasons.
You have an affirmative action program down here? Not officially.
Off the record.
We've got to be very aware of appearances.
Oh, well, do you need any sons of Killarney? Sorry.
Greer went to the right schools, had an impressive resume.
We put him in Fixed Income, good place to start.
Not much profit but not much risk, either.
We heard he took to it pretty well.
He increased sales And made his bankers very happy people.
He made all of us a lot of money.
Especially Holbrook.
LOGAN: Boy, Greer wants to go to Harvard, and they throw out the welcome mat.
Greer wants a job, they toss him seven million bucks.
You ever think maybe he earned it the old-fashioned way? Yeah, but he does all the work, Holbrook makes twice the money.
That's called capitalism.
Man, it sure would piss me off.
Hey, Greer doesn't spend the bucks he's got.
Why would he want more? It's not about money, remember? It's about power.
Oh, look at this.
What is this? They got no respect anymore, these meter maids.
You know, it must be hell trying to get a cab around here late at night.
I wonder if Greer used the company car service.
You know how many jobs I do for Jenkins? Look, help us out.
He's a good-looking guy, he's black, about 35.
High and Mighty.
You remember where you dropped him off? East 60s.
And I was glad to get rid of him, too.
Had the Knicks-Bulls on the radio.
Oh, I remember.
I lost a half a yard on that.
They never cover the spread.
I had 100 riding on it.
But it made too much noise for His Honor.
He asked me to turn it down, and I said, "Come on, my brother" He said, "I ain't your brother.
Shut up and drive.
" (CHUCKLES) You got the exact address? The Holbrook place.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING) Sorry, my mornings are hectic.
It seems like your evenings are, too.
Excuse me? Looks like you lied to us about the other night, Bud.
I worked until 8:00.
Just like I told you.
Yeah, well, you didn't go home.
All right.
Holbrook asked me to come by to review the work of the other traders.
It's firing season.
And after that? No one was home.
I waited 15 minutes, then went to watch the game at Diamond's.
Why'd you lie to us, Bud? I didn't lie to you.
If you recall, I said I hadn't been in Holbrook's house in six months.
A little career advice? Nobody likes a smartass.
Look, I respected Holbrook.
He was my mentor.
And now, if you don't mind, I'd like to get back to the floor.
Well, first, why don't you tell us about your prior arrest.
Ring any bells? I didn't think so.
It was the day the market crashed and burned.
I was in equities then.
One of my clients thought he'd take the correction out on my face.
He lost.
Buddy? Sure, he's here maybe three nights a week.
Club Soda.
How about Monday night? Football game.
We were packed.
Maybe he was here.
It's hard to say.
Did he hang out with anybody in particular? No, mostly, he's quiet.
Keeps to himself.
He used to bring a girl in from the office, Joan something-or-other.
Blonde, about 5'6"? And one hell of a temper.
Come again? I haven't seen her for maybe six months.
I doubt old Bud has, either.
Last time they were here, we're talking major blowout.
She storms out.
He downs a couple of Johnnie Blacks.
I didn't tell you because you didn't ask.
We're asking now.
Are you still close? No.
On paper, he's the perfect man.
Harvard, Stanford MBA.
Seven-figure income.
And off paper? (SIGHING) Right.
Nobody knows our Bud.
Once we came out of Shun Lee, we're walking down Lex.
Couple of homeboys come up to us, start up about his Zegna suit and his white chick.
Buddy pops his cork.
Slams the guy against a wall.
So, he was protecting his lady's honor.
Who're you kidding? The only honor Bud ever protected was his own.
Did he get violent often? You don't think that I don't know, but we're checking on everybody.
Holbrook was his idol.
Hell, Ben Bud Greer wanted to be Wallace Holbrook.
So, what happened between you two? (SIGHING) I got tired of hearing about Nietzsche and the Ubermensch.
(PHONE BUZZING) Excuse me.
Close it for a buck and a half.
Zegna suits? They go for two grand a pop.
I really don't give a damn.
All I know is, you blow somebody away with a shotgun, blood's gonna splatter.
And he did lie about being at the crime scene.
Could be enough for a warrant.
(POLICE RADIO CHATTERING) I lived better than this when I wasn't working.
LOGAN: Guy doesn't even have cable.
We ought to hock one of these and take a vacation.
There's nothing here.
Maybe somebody at the dump got real lucky.
Hey, take a look at this.
It's a memo to Mr.
Holbrook from Accounting.
"Per your request, enclosed please find a record of all Mr.
Greer's trades "over the past two years.
" So? It's dated two days before the murder.
Your Mr.
Greer's been a very busy boy.
Added verve to an otherwise dull business.
How's that? Greer's trades aren't kosher.
We're talking about phantom trading here.
Oh, take it easy, Kaplan.
I have trouble with my checkbook.
Okay, look, Mike.
Let's pretend you're Greer.
You know Lennie wants an apple three months from now.
You also know he'll pay you three bucks for it.
Now, I got more apples than I know what to do with, so I'm willing to unload this one to you today for the bargain basement price of $1.
So I buy it from you, sell it to him in 90 days and pocket two bucks.
Now everywhere else on the planet, you record your profit when you receive the cash.
But Jenkins, Clay's accounting system It's a little new wave.
They record a $2 profit today, when you buy it, not when you sell it.
Even though I don't have to cough up the dough for three months? That's right.
Only under Greer's scheme, you don't really exist.
Most of his buyers are fictitious.
So when the closing day rolls around, he just pushes it back a couple of months.
And the profit's already on the books.
And he walks away with a bonus based on money that the firm will never collect.
What's that? You took the Malcolm Forbes Home Study in High Finance in your spare time? Not exactly.
We took a crash course in bogus trades.
I'm sorry.
You lost me.
Well, let me draw you a map, Bud.
We've been through your files.
You've been blowing smoke up your company's ass for two years, taking bonuses you didn't earn.
And Holbrook found out.
So I stuck a rifle in his mouth? It's a lot easier then giving back a $7 million bonus.
I earned that money.
I worked harder and I'm smarter than all the other kids on the block.
Well, you got your $2,000 suits, and you got your hotshot degrees.
But from where I'm standing, you're no better than some punk who holds up a 7-Eleven store then blows away the cashier to cover his tracks.
I graduated summa cum laude from Harvard.
Magna from Stanford Business.
I have 17 traders working for me.
And I've booked almost $1 billion in trades in the last two years.
Not only am I better than your punk at the 7-Eleven, I'm also a hell of a lot better than you Detective Logan.
(KNOCKING ON DOOR) I wouldn't mind smacking him in the mouth.
I'm thinking you'll get your chance.
Metaphorically, that is.
It appears Mr.
Greer washed up in Holbrook's bathroom.
We've got a partial print on the sink.
Should have stuck to the convenience stores, Bud.
Do your thing, Lennie.
Benjamin Greer, you're under arrest for the murder of Wallace Holbrook.
You have the right to remain silent.
Anything you do say can and will be used against you in a court of law.
$1 million bail, Jack? Don't you think that's just a bit excessive? I saw the pictures from the crime scene, he should count his blessings.
It's all gonna be back in his money market soon enough.
I'm not talking deal, David.
Why in the world would I deal? I didn't do anything.
We can put you at the scene at the time of the murder.
We have a motive.
No, you think you have a motive.
The deceased was about to pull the plug on $1 billion scam.
You don't have to be a genius But you do to get it admitted.
In seizing the financial records from Mr.
Greer's apartment, the police clearly violated my client's Fourth Amendment rights.
I'll see you in court, Jack.
The Fourth Amendment requires that a search warrant contain a particular description of the items to be seized.
The warrant in question describes bloody clothes.
There's no mention of financial records.
Courts have consistently upheld seizure of non-particularized items when they were located in the plain view of the police officers.
Well, unless detectives Briscoe and Logan are from the planet Krypton, the inside of a desk drawer is hardly in plain view.
The warrant in this case specified "clothes as well as any other items" "that tend to establish the elements of the crime.
" The Supreme Court in Anderson held that such language was sufficient for seizure of property not itemized on the warrant.
The financial records seized by the police relate only to motive.
Since when is motive an element of the crime? Mr.
Solomon is correct, the police crossed the line.
The financial documents are excluded.
Yeah, well, I tell you, someone ought to give our detectives a crash course in Fourth Amendment search-and-seizure law.
Maybe they took some liberties, Adam.
They were investigating a brutal homicide.
Nine out often defense attorneys wouldn't have even noticed.
Yeah, well, this one did.
Without motive, you couldn't convince a jury water's wet.
But if we can establish that we would have inevitably discovered the phantom trade And what psychic you planning to call as your first witness? You had no idea these trades motivated the murder.
We're charging someone with murder, right? We would've been remiss if we weren't prepared to challenge his credibility.
I've sat outside his office for two years, answering his phone and typing his memos.
Yeah, he's wound tight, but murder, no way.
He murdered Wallace Holbrook, Miss Cooley.
You've got to put your personal feelings aside.
My personal feelings are none of your business.
That's my business.
Bud Greer did it.
I don't think he deserves your loyalty.
What do you want? Is he close to anyone at the firm? Top moneymaker, you'd think they'd hoist him on their shoulders.
Are you saying he's resented? A year ago, I made the mistake of wearing jeans to work.
Greer calls me in his office, says, "This isn't Lennox Avenue.
" "If you want to be a homey, find yourself another job.
" He resented you because you're black? You answer his phone.
He must get some personal phone calls.
Maybe once a month his dad calls.
Most times, Bud leaves him on hold.
Thank you.
Ben worked for me when he was in high school.
A customer would come in for some nails, Ben would sell him a power drill.
He's come a long way from selling nails.
Selling is selling.
And look, Miss Kincaid.
The one thing I taught him is that nobody's gonna hand you anything.
We're just as good as anybody.
If you want something, you work for it.
No welfare in this house.
It appears he's reconsidered.
Look, let me tell you something about my son.
When he applied to Harvard, he wouldn't check off the box that said he was black, even though his guidance counselor told him that it would make him a shoo-in.
No, if he was going to get in, it was going to be because of what he did, not who he was.
He made me proud.
Now, a kid like that doesn't steal.
He doesn't cheat.
He certainly doesn't kill.
You talk to anybody who knows him.
Well, if you can help me, that's what I'd like to do.
There's a kid named Price.
He's a doctor.
Ben's known him for a long time.
Yeah, sure, Bud and I grew up together in Jamaica, Queens.
Do you stay in touch? Well, we have dinner every couple of months.
Phone call every now and then.
Does he ever discuss business? What he does for a living bores me.
Anyway, I doubt I'd understand it even if we did.
So, what do you talk about? Well, a favorite topic is the old neighborhood.
Specifically, about going back and rubbing it in all of their faces.
You know, Revenge of the Nerds.
It sounds like Bud didn't have a lot of friends.
You're looking at him.
In school, the white kids beat him up because he was smarter then they were.
And black kids beat him up because he was hanging out with me.
Looks like things don't change.
Well, I don't think race is relevant here.
Aren't you naive.
His father said Bud would never make an issue out of the fact that he was black.
Of course he wouldn't.
It would give credibility to the great white majority out there who think that blacks are inferior.
And by separating himself from the rest of his race, he's saying they're right.
You don't get it.
In his head, he's not black.
He's just a guy who happens to be smarter than 99% of the population.
Well, I guess he wasn't smart enough.
I've known him for 30 years, Miss Kincaid.
He didn't kill anybody.
This is the first real success he's enjoyed.
Why don't you just leave him alone? From his resume, we didn't even know what color he was.
But when he showed up? Well, number eight at Stanford business school, we'd have hired him if he was green.
So, how'd he work out? C+.
We gave him every opportunity, but he just didn't produce.
A year in Equities.
And that was during the bull market.
So we moved him over to Fixed Income Paper.
A lot less pressure.
And there was no improvement? Minimal.
I couldn't understand it then and I still can't.
It was as if he had made it to the top of the mountain and felt he didn't have to do anything to stay there.
So you fired him? We're in business to make money.
We gave him five years.
We figured that was long enough to avoid any potential lawsuits.
But you already excluded the files found in Greer's apartment.
Because of the illegal search.
The State can now prove that it would have inevitably discovered the same evidence.
Why, because he was fired from his first job? Because he was a less-than-competent trader.
Enlighten me, Mr.
Overnight, Mr.
Greer went from showing a minimal profit, at best, to setting world records in profits.
Well, he saw the light.
He's a late bloomer.
What does that have to do with the murder trial? I wouldn't have known.
But you can bet the ranch I would have wanted to find out.
So would I.
Surely our investigators would have looked into Mr.
Greer's trading practices and evidence of his phantom trading would have inevitably been discovered.
I agree.
The financial records previously excluded can now be considered by a jury.
He was at the scene, we've got his fingerprints.
And with the phantom trades, we've got motive.
It's a hat-trick, David.
No, I still don't see motive, Jack.
He was ripping off the company.
Holbrook found out.
Greer increased profits by 10 times.
It's absurd to think that Holbrook took two years to catch on to him Maybe he was slow.
And maybe he was greedy.
You know, he made $15 million because of my client.
I doubt very much he was going to turn him in.
Jury might buy that.
But I don't.
Well If you're trying to talk deal, I'm not listening.
Suit yourself.
Come here.
I want you to meet somebody.
It's fine.
We'll counterclaim.
Jerome Bryant.
Yes, Mr.
Your equal protection arguments in front of the Supreme Court are classic.
Thank you.
And I'm more than pleased to tell you that I've been retained by Bud Greer to join his defense team.
This is a criminal case.
Unfortunately, Mr.
McCoy, when a black man seeks justice in the white judicial system, his civil rights are usually violated.
In the last 10 years, Bryant has found racial implications in everything from house closings to securities transactions.
Well, he's gonna have to do one hell of a magic act here.
I'm not so sure about that.
Notwithstanding Jerome Bryant's proclamations from the mount, the entire judicial system is not racist.
Mike Tyson, Michael Jackson, Jo.
This won't be the first time that the State has been accused of trying to bring down a high-profile black man.
And in this case, it's all nonsense.
Yes, if trials were about facts.
This is about convicting one man of homicide.
Don't you wish Got news for you.
If enough people think it's about racism, it's about racism.
I'm not dealing with the universal problems of society, Adam.
Just one Class A felony.
Well, we may not have the opportunity.
Bryant's made a motion to dismiss.
It's been an exercise in racism from the get-go, Your Honor.
The only reason the police focused their investigation on my client is because he's black.
The fact that he's guilty may have had something to do with it.
Well, there were hundreds of other suspects.
Nobody bothered to look into their closets.
I hope you're not suggesting that I dismiss the case because the police did a good job.
No, Judge, but I am saying this entire investigation, beginning with the search of my client's apartment, was motivated by racial bias and is therefore illegal.
In fact, it's clear this search warrant would have never been signed in the first place if the suspect weren't black.
In Detective Logan's affidavit in support of the warrant, he described the suspect as, and I quote, "a 35-year-old black man.
" That's absurd.
The affidavits were sufficient without that description.
Then why did your detectives feel it necessary to include it? That's a good question.
Bryant, on Tuesday morning you can present evidence of racial bias in the search and/or arrest of Mr.
And if he's successful? I'll grant his motion to dismiss.
And I suggest the police department hire a damn good civil attorney.
Two other traders told us the defendant was close to the deceased so we thought it was expedient that we talk to him ourselves.
What were the exact words spoken by these other traders that led you to consider Mr.
Greer a suspect in the murder? Actually, we were just following procedure.
So, prior to interviewing Mr.
Greer, he was not, in fact, a suspect? LOGAN: That is correct.
Now, during the initial interview, what did Mr.
Greer do or say to change your opinion? During the initial interview there was nothing specific.
There were no eyewitnesses to this murder, Detective.
Greer neither did nor said anything to make you suspicious, yet still you focused your investigation on him.
He lied to us.
He had a criminal record.
He was arrested.
The charges were dropped.
Yes, but he was the only one Mr.
Greer was the only black man who worked for Mr.
Isn't that correct? As far as I know.
So you figured if you dig deep enough, you gonna find something.
That's ridiculous.
Oh, you think a man's civil rights are ridiculous? Objection.
No more questions.
Did you check the criminal records of the other traders at Jenkins, Clay as well? Yes, I did a search of everyone in Mr.
Holbrook's department.
And as I tried to say before, Mr.
Greer was the only one with a previous arrest.
Thank you.
Bryant? No more witnesses.
Then I'm afraid you haven't come close to meeting your burden.
Motion to dismiss is denied.
Specious motions like that, you're lucky your client makes seven figures.
Actually, I thought His Honor would have cut me off long before he did.
I was just setting the stage for the trial.
You still plan to make race an issue? I plan on making it the only issue.
It's our notice to call an expert witness.
Bettina Osgood.
You're not saying that Greer is insane? After the way Jenkins, Clay treated him, I'm saying he was justified.
But I'll live with insanity.
A lifetime of suffering the indignities of a racist society, eventually the kettle boils over.
The experts call it black rage.
And we both know it's crap.
Oh, is it? Think about it, Mr.
If you wanted, you could spend your entire life without having any significant contact with a black man.
First, that notion is absurd.
Second, it's entirely irrelevant.
To you, maybe, because you have an option.
But if Mr.
Greer didn't want to mix with the white man, he would have to remain in Harlem or Bedford-Stuyvesant or South Central Los Angeles.
Like it or not, this country is still one big plantation.
And that makes it all right for him to commit murder? No.
But a jury might consider it an excuse.
I want my expert to examine him.
Hell, you can strip-search him for all the good it's gonna do you.
The cream rises to the top, it's as simple as that.
And the cream is traditionally white.
They make the rules.
They set the standards.
So you found it necessary to emulate them.
That's a bit of a simplification, Doctor, don't you think? Why don't you explain it to me? I got into Harvard, everyone in the class assumed it was because I was black.
I got a job on Wall Street, people thought I was a window dressing.
Well, that's simply a by-product of affirmative action.
In time it will disappear.
Affirmative action! That's Jim Crow dressed up in 20th-century liberalism.
The black man's inferior so we've got to help him survive.
He's incompetent so we'll give him a free ride.
It's okay if he's lazy and ill-prepared, we'll take care of him.
You want the short course in the history of race relations in America? It all starts with white men trying to protect white women from the big bad black man.
It was the prime argument in favor of segregation.
And it's what made lynching an honorable diversion.
We've come a long way since then.
Don't kid yourself, Doctor.
People are still scared.
And fear begets hate.
And hate is the one common ground between black and white society.
So that justifies your hatred of white society? No, it justifies my contempt for both.
I've examined your client, Mr.
Bryant, and I can't imagine any legitimate psychiatrist testifying that he was insane.
Isn't this nice, three white folks sitting around judging a black man.
His whole life he's been separating himself from the black community, and as soon as it suits him he raises a gloved fist over his head.
I know all about you, Mr.
You're a con man.
First you conned Wall Street and now you're trying to con Court Street.
We'll just have to see what a jury thinks about that, won't we? Let's go, Bud.
Well, I can see why he wasn't well-liked at the firm.
You've never had to walk in his shoes.
You mean his Guccis.
The guy is filled with greed and ambition.
Which goes a long way on Wall Street if you're white.
Greer's had white values shoved down his throat.
He had to accept them to feel successful.
It makes for a lot of self-loathing.
Oh, that's great.
What? (SIGHING) I still don't like Greer.
Only now I've gotta feel guilty about it.
Bud Greer didn't want to take over the department.
He wanted to be head of the whole firm.
Was that a realistic ambition? With the profits he was showing, it might have happened eventually.
JACK: How long is eventually? The firm works on strict seniority.
He wasn't going anywhere until Wallace Holbrook retired.
Or died? Or died.
Miss Stillman, please explain to the court what is meant by Casual Day.
It was a plan instituted by Mr.
Fridays every summer, traders weren't required to dress in their normal business clothes.
Did Mr.
Greer take advantage of this dispensation? Well, that became a big joke around the firm.
The one time he came in wearing khakis, a security guard thought he was a busboy and made him enter the cafeteria through the kitchen.
And how did Mr.
Greer react? He read the guard the riot act, had him fired that afternoon.
BRYANT: What about his coworkers? They left dirty dishes on his desk when he wasn't there.
COOKE: In the years before Mr.
Greer joined the firm, the largest bonus received by Mr.
Holbrook was $1.
2 million.
Last year, it was $15 million.
And he didn't think that this was cause for suspicion? It was cause for celebration.
Look, Holbrook was not the best supervisor at the firm, and maybe he should've looked a little closer at some of Greer's transactions.
But if you're asking me if I think Holbrook would have accepted a bonus based on ill-gotten gains, my answer is an unqualified no.
Thank you.
How many times have you played golf with Mr.
Greer? I can't say that I've ever had the pleasure.
How many times did you and Mr.
Greer eat lunch together? I run an investment bank, sir.
I'm very busy.
But last week you had lunch with Miss Stillman, Mr.
Boggs, Mr.
James, Ms.
Appel, Mr.
They're all traders in your firm, aren't they? I see what you're getting at.
They're all Caucasian traders, isn't that right? Yes, they are.
Now tell me, Mr.
Cooke, why weren't you too busy to break bread with them, but you couldn't squeeze out for a man who brought over $1 billion into your firm? I didn't like him, sir.
He's smug.
He's arrogant.
And he's black.
The black man in America is estranged from society.
He's been taught in school that he's equal yet he cannot help but realize that he's different.
BRYANT: And what is the source of those feelings, Doctor? History.
First selling the black man into bondage, then America prospering on the backs of black laborers, and then a changing technology usurping the need for physical labor.
It often leads to feelings of uselessness and isolation, which in turn leads to self-hatred.
Unfortunately, it's very common.
And how does this self-hatred show itself? Well, eventually it's redirected outward toward their tormentors.
Some individuals can't help but lash out at the symbols of their torment.
In this case, Wallace Holbrook? That's correct.
Thank you.
What about Holocaust survivors, Doctor? Or Cambodian refugees? Or Soviet dissidents? They were persecuted.
Are they also entitled to kill their bosses? You can't equate the history of blacks in America with that of the Jews or Cambodians or Soviets.
They weren't brought here in chains.
Their children weren't sold.
I see.
So that makes black men less capable of exercising self-control.
That is the very attitude that feeds the racism in this country.
Yes, Doctor.
And it's you who are giving all the bigots in this country the justification for their fear and hatred.
No one ever expected me to show a profit.
They just wanted my picture in their annual reports.
What happened when you did in fact make money? The consensus was that I was the luckiest guy on the trading floor.
It was inconceivable to them that I could actually play their game and beat them at it.
The night of the murder, did you have a conversation with Wallace Holbrook? Yes.
He had received a memo from Accounting detailing all of my trades over the past two years.
He was laughing at me.
He said he knew that a nigger couldn't do it honestly.
And what did you do? I don't remember.
I just remember him lying on the floor dead.
Sir, what would have happened if Wallace Holbrook had exposed your phantom trades? I would have had to return my bonus money.
$10 million.
The money is irrelevant.
I left it in their bank account.
I never spent a penny of it.
You weren't concerned about larceny charges? There was little chance of that.
They wouldn't want their shareholders to find out how easy it was to manipulate the system.
I would have had to leave the firm, period.
I suspect being fired would have been humiliating.
Do you know what Wallace said to me? He said that I should go back to the jungle and steal coconuts from monkeys.
That is humiliating, Mr.
Hell of a performance.
Yeah, he has the right audience.
Eight black jurors.
I give them more credit than that.
I mean, just because Bryant condescends to them, doesn't mean we have to.
Nobody's condescending here, young lady.
Wait a minute.
You're not saying there's any validity to this black rage defense? No, I'm saying that intellectually it's easy to dismiss.
Emotionally, Ben Greer may have struck a major chord with a lot of the jurors.
So let me get this straight.
The only way it's possible for a black man accused of killing a white man to get a fair trial is to have an all-white jury? I'll call the Senate.
We need a constitutional amendment.
I don't like your implications.
I don't need the sarcasm.
Cut a deal.
Put an end to it.
If we cut a deal, we'll be saying to anybody who has an ax to grind that they've got a license to kill at random.
No, we're saying we want murderers behind bars.
So what are we talking about, Jack? Man one.
He does the max.
You've got to be kidding.
He's admitted he killed Holbrook.
It's a gift.
A gift? A gift would be erasing 200 years of history.
You're starting to believe your client's press.
GREER: You're lucky, Mr.
In your life, it doesn't matter that we live in a racist country.
Really? Yes, really.
You play at being civilized, colorblind.
But it's all a fraud.
My life is the quintessential case in point.
No one owes you an apology.
I'm not looking for one.
And I'm not looking for a deal, either.
You know what? I'm glad.
No, you should be scared.
You see, you've always crossed the street every time a couple of hip-hopping ghetto boys walk toward you but now, every time a nigger in a $2,000 suit sits next to you at lunch, you'll clench your fists a little tighter, breathe just a little bit deeper.
If nothing else, now the world knows that he's just as angry and just as likely to explode.
You don't scare me, Mr.
But you do disgust me.
You're nothing but a thief and a murderer hiding behind your race.
On the sole count of the indictment, Murder in the Second Degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Benjamin Greer, guilty.
(PEOPLE CHATTERING) The Times says Greer's going to appeal.
He'll have to find a mistake of law first.
Well, he's hired three more attorneys to help him.
Jack, that man was here before we were.
You getting in or what?