Law & Order (1990) s11e11 Episode Script

Sunday in the Park with Jorge

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.
Privacy in public spaces, Paige.
That's what New York's all about.
Can't we just get a hotel? Right now, let's don't go anywhere.
Let's add "Rowboat in Central Park" to our life lists of sexual loci.
Ira Let's do add it, Paige.
(SCREAMS) (OFFICER CHATTERING ON RADIO) Looks like she was beaten pretty bad.
Excuse me, I have a pretty shaken up lady here.
You're the couple in the rowboat? Right, that's us.
Was she moving when you found her? IRA: Paige? Oh, God, no.
If we're at all close to wrapping it up, I'd like to take her away from here.
We're going to need to take full statements from both of you.
We'll get through it as quickly as we can.
Is it possible to keep my full identity out of this? Strictly speaking, we're being naughty.
Officially, she's still married to another individual.
Did she murder him? God, no.
Oh, see, we're Homicide.
Anything else, you have to take up with the adultery squad.
(SIGHS) Name? I don't know if they're responsible for this here, but I had a couple of knuckleheads from the parade try to mess with my rowboats.
Can you describe them? Puerto Rican.
Tall, short, fat, thin? I couldn't tell you.
Did you get a look at the dead woman? Yeah.
Was she with anybody when she rented the boat? All by herself.
She had a pair of shoulders on her big enough for a linebacker.
Thanks for the tip.
(SIREN WAILING) (SIGHS) Detective? What's up, Sarge? A group of Hispanics coming away from the parade were just collared for robbery and sexual assault.
They're on their way to Central Booking.
See if you can get them re-routed over to the house.
I went to the parade and that's it.
You got collared in the park.
I went through the park to go to the subway to go home.
(SIGHS) Let's see.
The parade's on Fifth Avenue, you live in the East Bronx.
You got to take the Lexington Avenue line to get home.
So you don't go through the park to get to the subway.
You want to try another story? If you seen somebody holding something that says "Sony" in front of their faces, those are video cameras.
Hey, one stinking day out of the year to honor the Puerto Rican people, I got to get this kind of harassment? Hold up.
You ripped the girl's shirt off out of patriotism? Hey, if that's the one bitch I'm thinking of, I wouldn't exactly call that no shirt, man.
Now, would this be the bitch in the rowboat? I wasn't near no rowboat.
Where were you guys? Not where we should've been, I guess.
I had my clothes ripped off in Central Park in the middle of the day.
Well, nobody expected that kind of crowd.
If we had, there would have been a much greater police presence in the park.
Not too comforting to think unless there's police standing there, that this is what happens.
Is there anything you can tell us about who attacked you? Teens, 20s.
I guess Puerto Rican.
Have a look at these.
Tell us if you recognize any of the faces.
I don't know.
Anything you could tell us would be helpful.
What I remember about them wasn't their faces.
It doesn't have to be faces.
Clothes, tattoos, jewelry What I remember about them is hands grabbing me.
What seems like a thousand hands.
That's it.
That's all I remember.
ED: We have a vendor that says you and your boys robbed him That's wrong, man.
Maybe somebody paid him and he didn't realize.
But definitely I didn't rob nobody knowingly with forethought.
How about using water bottles to spray girls with, did you do that? It was a hot day.
We was fooling around.
Fair enough.
Tell me about the girl at the lake.
I don't know nothing about that.
Well, what happened? I mean, you were spraying her with water and things just progressed from there? I want to talk to my lawyer.
BRISCOE: Tell me what was going on by the lake, Kiki.
I wasn't near no lake.
How sure are you that there were no witnesses who saw you there? Look, the only place I went to in the park was to the zoo, on account of I had to use the bathroom.
You know, by the clock with the animals? I mean, I swear to God.
I swear to the Blessed Virgin! You I want my lawyer now You canvass the park? We're concentrating on the ones who took a collar.
I've got other detectives canvassing the park, Chief.
Where do we stand on holding these guys? Arraignment's tomorrow morning on robbery and assault.
Yeah, well, given that we had some members of the force conspicuously non-proactive while all this was going on, we'd be well-advised to pursue this investigation aggressively.
I would also appreciate if you go see the woman's husband.
I got people all the way up to First Dep pissing in my ear who he is.
Who is he? Some computer billionaire.
Downtown wants him to feel taken care of.
They'll let him know they're on top of it.
ETHAN: I just can't believe she's gone.
We think we're pretty close to having a suspect.
One of the people that was in the park doing the attacks? Yeah, we're leaning that way.
I just don't understand how people can go crazy like that.
Or how they can be allowed to go crazy.
This is Seth Teitel.
He's a good friend of mine and vice president of my company.
The cops were just standing there? Girls came running out of the park who had their clothes ripped off, who were hysterical and the cops just stood there? If they did, they were wrong.
If they didn't, maybe Susan would still be alive.
But Seth, we don't know what happened.
We think money makes us safe.
We have doormen, we have limos.
Finally you get to the point where you don't even risk taking cabs and then you find out you're not safe.
Not nearly safe.
Susan went to take a rowboat all by herself? Yeah.
That was a totally Susan thing to do.
Can you think of anyone who would've wanted to hurt her for any reason? You're asking the wrong guy.
Susan and I were like an old pair of shoes.
I mean, we'd been together since college, we were best friends.
I can't think of anybody that would want to hurt her.
We've got a lot of cops working on this.
Hopefully we'll find what we're looking for.
Hey, you guys catch the Capp homicide? Right.
From where I'm standing, it looks like a sea of perps on Sunday.
I'm figuring they misjudged the deployment down at 1PP, the guys had parade detail got caught short-handed.
You ever on the job? I was a year too old when I took the test.
Otherwise I could've Anything unusual about the woman? Not exactly kismet in the marriage department, but other than that she seemed normal.
What, she and her husband used to fight? To the point where she moved out.
She just moved back in about a week ago.
How do you know she wasn't just taking a trip? Fellas, give me a little credit, huh? She was upset, she has some guy helping her, dragging out a lamp, pillow, photo albums.
Plus, she told me to hold her mail and under no circumstances deliver it to her husband.
Can you describe the guy that was helping her out? Male, Caucasian, approximately possible Boston accent.
Thanks, Kevin.
You'd have made a hell of a detective.
Where'd you say the girl was from? Somerville, Massachusetts.
Sherlock didn't mention the guy helping her was probably her father.
He and his wife were supposed to be flying down this morning.
That's right.
She'd say, "Five years, Dad.
" "Let Ethan go public with the company" "and we'll pack up and come back to Massachusetts.
" Can you think of anyone she might have been seeing? Seeing as in carrying on? Is that what you're suggesting? We're not suggesting anything, sir.
We're just asking questions.
On the chance that whoever killed your daughter knew her, we need to take a look at all of her friends and acquaintances.
What about her husband? Anyone think to look at him? Martin, please.
We don't think he had anything to do with it.
To the whole world, including my wife, Ethan was this great catch.
Way I see it, he was the lucky one.
He got the great catch, not her.
Do you think he'd do anything to hurt her? Absolutely not.
Except that he wanted out of the marriage.
ED: How do you know that? Because my daughter told me.
He met someone else.
He wanted out of the marriage, but she wasn't about to beg him to stay.
Had she been to a lawyer? You better believe it.
So there was enough for both of them to walk away with a bundle? No question.
Gee, now I've heard that an angry spouse can sometimes think any number is not enough.
Yes, I've also heard of that happening.
So how much was Susan looking to bleed him for? That might be the wrong terminology to use when talking to her matrimonial attorney.
Go ahead, use any terminology you want.
Susan wanted and was entitled to, an accurate evaluation of Ethan's company.
Sometimes that's provided willingly, sometimes it's not.
Well, let's say nothing was done willingly, that the divorce gets as nasty as a divorce can get.
What happens to the company then? Worst case scenario, the company's sold, the proceeds split.
Was it headed that way? Susan had a lot of anger.
She wasn't going to make it easy.
All the ones they collared at the park pleaded out to robbery or assault.
The most they're looking at is 18 months.
Well, it might be worth taking a harder look at the husband.
Is there anything to put him at the park? Not so far.
See, he was a little too intent on making us think his marriage was in good shape.
Turns out his wife had gone to see a lawyer and she was all set to take him to the cleaners.
Sounds like motive to me.
SETH: Can I help you? We need to talk to Ethan here.
Is there some place we can go that's a little more private? Yeah, we can do it right here.
Seth, would you excuse us, please? You and your wife were getting a divorce? What's the relevance of that? I don't know, it just seems like something you would've mentioned, along with the fact that you two were like "a pair of old shoes.
" BRISCOE: We were told that her demands might lead to your company being broken up.
Are you thinking that I murdered her to prevent that from happening? We've seen people murdered for a lot less.
So you want me to provide you with an alibi? Sunday morning I was at my apartment on the telephone with my people in San Jose.
Around noon, I met a friend at Barney's, made a couple of purchases, had some lunch, went to a Japanese animation show, then went home.
I've got credit card receipts, you're free to look at them.
Who's the friend you met at Barney's? We're just trying to get a sense as to whether Ethan's marital situation played a role in his wife's death.
As in, Ethan killed her? Well, not necessarily Ethan himself, maybe somebody trying to get in good with Ethan.
Guys with that much money tend to attract opportunists.
Would you be including me under that general heading? I wouldn't include you under any heading.
I don't know you that well.
Yeah, you guys are famous for not making snap judgments.
Whatever you think of me though Ethan had absolutely nothing to do with his wife's death.
He's as gentle a soul as I've ever known.
So, he's not responsible for those bruises on your neck? I didn't realize I was being physically examined.
It's another thing we're famous for.
Ethan didn't do this.
It was his friend, Seth.
He attributed Ethan's marital problems to me.
To use his words, I had destabilized a perfectly ordered universe.
Did he say that to you with his hands around your throat? Just before.
I made the mistake of laughing.
That's when he put his hands around my throat.
Seth has to have a pretty big stock position in the company.
No doubt.
Which means if the company gets broken up in a divorce, he loses big.
As does Ethan's girlfriend.
If she really wanted to set herself up for life, she'd cover for Ethan.
Well, why don't we get that doorman and see what he has to say about it.
Maybe we'll get lucky and he's made an entry in his official Dick Tracy notebook.
You ever notice Ethan with any other women? Oh, a guma in other words? Any other women.
None that springs to mind.
Hey, they've done away with the Safe and Loft Squad, am I right? Yeah, right.
Hey, you know anything about Ethan going out on Sunday? Well, I don't recall any of the usual limo drivers he uses showing up.
Did he go out on foot? It's a possibility.
Are you maybe liking him for the homicide? Gee, Kevin, I don't know.
So far his alibi holds up.
Why, you think we should like him? Ordinarily, you got to always like the husband.
This one might be a little too much of a wet noodle to pull it off.
Briscoe, Green.
In my office.
Well, thanks for coming in, Kevin.
We really appreciate it.
I ask you to make this guy feel taken care of and you make him a suspect? We're going where this investigation takes us, Chief.
Which is exactly what you're supposed to be doing, Lieutenant.
Downtown just finds it a bit hard to fathom why your guys are so focused on the victim's husband, when there's no history of domestic abuse, no criminal record, no nothing! Hey, there was a nasty divorce about to happen.
And that makes it likely, in your mind, for a guy like this to do a murder? It makes it worth looking into, yes.
Chief, we still have a lot of work to do.
Do us all a favor.
Find out it was one of the punks from the parade.
So nice to have the support of the job.
Is Ethan the only one you like at this point? Either Ethan or his friend.
What friend? His friend, Seth.
He stood to lose a fortune of his own in the divorce.
Plus, he tried to strangle Ethan's girlfriend.
Plus he seems like half a whack job.
Hey, the doorman said that Ethan didn't take the limo on Sunday, right? Maybe Seth did.
Listen, do what you have to do.
Not what the chief wants us to be looking at.
The chief's not running this investigation.
The dispatcher told us you drove this guy Seth Teitel on Sunday? Yeah, right.
That's right.
Do you have it in your trip log where you went? He had me for the day.
I didn't keep a trip log.
You happen to remember where he had you drive him to? I picked him up at his apartment around 79th and Columbus.
I took him down to his office.
I remember he wanted to stop at a news stand.
I remember he wanted to look at guitars in a store window.
He went up to Central Park and had me drop him by the rowboats.
BRISCOE: So you and Ethan go way back, huh? We went to MIT together.
You were with the company from the ground up? Can I ask what your point is? My point is, if Susan caused the breakup of the company, you had a lot to lose.
And so I murdered her? When's the last time you saw her? I don't know, month ago, three weeks ago.
Seth, you're a smart guy.
Ask yourself, are they asking me questions they already know the answer to? What do you mean? Ask yourself is there proof that you saw Susan not a month ago or three weeks ago but the very same day she was killed? I did not kill her.
Hey, man, ask yourself, did someone see me at the exact same spot where Susan was killed? Did someone see me? Now ask yourself, what would your answer be if they did? We arranged to meet at the lake.
She rowed up to the shore, got out, sat on a bench.
I told her how much the company meant to Ethan and me.
I tried to talk her out of destroying something just for the sake of destroying it.
I thought I was actually beginning to make sense to her.
All of a sudden these guys started running down the hill, yelling, spraying people with water.
So Susan told me that I should go get a cop.
So that's what I went to do.
But there were no cops.
You guys were completely absent from the park that day.
That isn't the same story you told us before.
I was ashamed.
I was afraid Ethan would never forgive me.
I was also afraid that you would think that I'd killed her and that I was making the whole thing up.
Good call.
(EXHALES) The last thing I want any of you to feel is that there's people at City Hall or in Albany micromanaging the way this case is handled.
Now, why would we think that, Donny? Other than the fact that you're here.
As you know, there was considerable public outcry that the cops didn't do more by way of responding to the wilding in the park.
There'd been some hope that an effective prosecution in this case would offset that.
We're anticipating that there will be an effective prosecution.
But it's not a prosecution of one of the individuals involved in the wilding.
That's because we don't have the necessary evidence to prosecute any of those individuals.
It sounds like the only evidence you've got against Seth Teitel is circumstantial.
That's usually the case with homicide.
Okay, look, I'm all for a level playing field, justice being color blind, etcetera.
We had hoped to use this trial to punish one or more of these Puerto Ricans who went nuts in the park that day.
If we can't, we can't.
What I need to be able to report back is that you're all absolutely convinced that you got the right guy.
We wouldn't be prosecuting him if we weren't.
Ethan and Seth were very close, although I think in Seth's mind they were closer.
She has no idea what was in Seth's mind.
Did Seth ever personally indicate he felt threatened by Ethan's impending divorce? He said that if the company was dissolved in a divorce, then his stock options would be worthless.
What role, if any, did he assign to you? He held me responsible, along with Susan.
How do you know that? One day he found me doing something on Ethan's computer and he went crazy.
He started choking me, saying that everything was perfect until I set my sights on Ethan.
He said that if it would keep the company from going down the tubes and him from moving back into his parents' house in Rockville Center, then he'd risk getting sent away for murder.
Nothing further.
Is it possible you saw Seth as a rival, Miss Bergman? And that's why you're up here testifying against him? I think Ethan was pretty squarely in the heterosexual camp, if that's what you're referring to.
Actually, I was thinking more to the point that you were driving a wedge between Ethan and his wife and Ethan and his friend, in order for you for you to claim the power and the money you were seeking.
Did you send this e-mail to Ethan? Yes.
I ask that it be marked into evidence.
So ordered.
"Hey, Snakeskin," "can't wait till I'm next to you at the controls.
" "I hope it's not too big-headed of me to think I have something to offer.
" "Especially once you shed some excess baggage.
" "Don't take this to mean I'm not happy now.
" "It isn't everyone who has their very own boy-genius crawl into their lap" "to go nigh-nigh nippy nigh-nigh.
" Stop this.
Sit down, Mr.
I don't want you embarrassing my friend Ethan this way.
Just stop what you're doing.
Witnesses getting antsy? Nah, I gave them all crayons and coloring books.
They'll be fine.
See you in there.
Hey, guys.
I have a witness you might be interested in.
Who's that? Name's Kiki Morales.
He was one of the wild bunch in the park.
Pleaded out to assault and robbery.
He started serving his sentence, saw your guy's picture in the paper, got in touch with me.
Said he recognized him from the park.
Can place him in the rowboat.
How long does it take to get him down here? I took the liberty, he's here already.
Interview him, see what we've got.
Yeah, no problem.
Where were you on the afternoon of Sunday, June 11th, Mr.
Morales? I was at the Puerto Rican Day Parade, then I went to Central Park.
Where in Central Park were you? The lake.
What, if anything, did you see there? That gentleman seated right there.
He jumped out of a rowboat and walked by me in a big rush.
There were a lot of people in Central Park that day.
How sure are you it was the defendant? There weren't any other people jumping out of rowboats and running.
And I saw his picture in the paper.
There's no doubt in my mind.
That's the same guy.
Nothing further.
Your witness is lying I questioned him after he was collared, he swore up and down he never went past the zoo.
Maybe he was lying then.
Maybe he was, maybe he lies whenever it's in his interest to lie.
What's he getting for testifying? Time served.
A full year off his prison sentence.
JACK: Even if he told the truth on the stand, the Defense is entitled to full disclosure of his statement to Briscoe.
Which means his credibility is shot along with ours.
How did this happen? There was nothing in his statement that said the zoo was the only place in the park he went.
On the face of it, there was no contradiction.
Obviously we were happy to have eyewitness testimony.
Oh, this is going to get ugly.
Yes, it is.
They're going to come after us for everything.
Cops outside the park who just stood there, city failing to act, me not doing my job, all of it.
I should've talked to Briscoe.
I shouldn't have relied solely on the statement he gave me.
We need to find out where Morales really was and what, if anything, he actually saw.
How do we do that? Stick him in a room with Briscoe and Green.
That's the trouble with lying, Kiki.
You have to remember to tell the same lies to the same people.
Look, I don't do time so good, all right? I got a sick mother, I got asthma.
You should think about your sick mother and your asthma before you go on your next crime spree.
I get loaded, I don't think about nothing.
Yeah? Well, think about this.
You just added perjury to your list of felonies.
No, no, no, no.
I didn't do no perjury by saying I saw the guy.
ED: By saying you saw him by the lake.
I did see him by the lake.
So you perjured yourself by saying you didn't go past the zoo.
That wasn't on the stand.
We're going to prove that you lied on the stand, Kiki.
And you know what that means? Five more years at Green Haven.
What if I told you guys the truth? BRISCOE: Yeah, what if you do? Would it help? It couldn't hurt.
All right.
A bunch of us were down at the lake, right? We saw the girl in the boat.
You know, we started throwing things at her.
She got upset, rowed to shore and said something.
Then this guy, Nestor, jumped in the boat with her and they got into it.
Problem is, Kiki, that you're completely useless as a witness now.
The jury isn't going to trust you to give them directions to the men's room.
I think you're wrong about that, man.
'Cause I can be totally sincere when I got to be.
BRISCOE: Now, who else saw Nestor in the boat? A bunch of us saw him.
Anybody who isn't currently doing time? There is one guy.
The Puerto Rican Day Parade in June, you remember what you were doing? I was there.
I watched it.
I hung out for awhile and went home.
Let me try to save us some time here, David.
Look, you're in no real strong position to be playing cat and mouse.
We have somebody that has you at the park, by the lake, witnessing a woman been beat to death.
I stopped him from beating her.
So you knew the one on trial is innocent? I figured with his money, he'd get off.
I'm sure the D.
's office isn't going to connect you up as an accessory.
I mean, the fact that you were in the boat and that you didn't come forward, none of that's going to be a problem for you, huh? I've never so much as been arrested.
I have two kids.
I have a job.
What are you doing to me? Look here, man, we're ready to send you to prison.
The only thing you got working in your favor is the D.
's in a bad spot.
Now, they might be inclined to cut you some slack, if they believe you.
Any way you can help yourself here? There's this woman who might be able to ID Nestor.
They'll believe her.
Why are you asking me this now? Well, we've received some information that leads us to believe that we arrested the wrong guy.
Except now it's been a while.
If you're not sure, you're not sure.
We're not trying to talk you into anything.
I told David I didn't want to be doing nothing like this.
I was pissed off, but I didn't want to get involved in the whole thing like this.
All we want you to do is take a look at a photo array and tell us if you see the guy.
If you don't, you don't.
What do you guys want? We want to arrest you, we just don't want to do it in front of all these people.
Arrest me for what? Murder.
I stood right here in this office and I asked you, "Are you certain you have the right guy?" You told me you did.
At the time, everything pointed to Seth Teitel as the killer.
So, I went to the mayor and I told him that he should go to the leadership of the Hispanic community.
Assure them that no one from their constituency was being targeted.
No one has been targeted.
He gave them his word, Nora.
What do you want us to do, Donny? Ignore evidence of this defendant's guilt because we made a mistake? We could have demonstrations.
Even worse.
This administration had the political high ground on this one and your people just pissed it away.
Tell the mayor I'd be happy to meet with anybody he thinks would be beneficial.
It's not going to be that easy.
These are bridges we've tried to build with the minority communities, they're not too sturdy.
So it's going to be damn near impossible to mend them now.
What if you attack my decision to prosecute in the press? That would put you back on dry land.
And what would be your response? No response.
Turn the other cheek.
And I assume you'll have someone reach out to this dotcom guy? Express our sincere apologies? I did apologize.
And it was sincere.
No one is looking for any scalps, Nora.
You understand.
I do, completely.
That was fun.
Good to know they're consistent.
I'm sorry about the political capital I just cost you.
There's no need to apologize to me.
I do need a conviction.
What are the chances of that? The Defense is making noises about this kid's IQ.
Anything to it? From the video tape? He was smart enough to enjoy the parade.
Let's make sure the jury sees it.
JUDGE: State your objections, Counselor.
My objection is that the tape is prejudicial rather than probative.
It's inflammatory and has nothing to do with the crime charged.
We'd argue the tape establishes the presence of the defendant in Central Park at the time of A fact already stipulated into the record.
But more importantly, it establishes a sequence of events related in cause and effect to the eventual murder of Susan Capp.
I know that's what Mr.
McCoy wants to convey to the jury, but I would argue strenuously that the laws of evidence don't permit him to do that.
Well, the events on the tape are sufficiently related to the crime charged.
The tape comes in.
What were you doing on Sunday, June 11th, Mr.
Stenopolis? I like to videotape things, events around the city and whatnot.
Sometimes you see famous people like, like last week I videotaped Steve Martin walking down Madison Avenue.
And sometimes it's just pretty girls like you see in New York every day.
Were you in Central Park with your video camera following the Puerto Rican Day Parade? Yes, I was.
Was the tape we're about to see made in that location on that date? Yes, it was.
The Defense renews its objection to the showing of this tape, Your Honor.
Objection overruled.
McCoy? (PEOPLE CLAMORING) (WOMEN EXCLAIMING) I would draw the jury's attention to the individual in the right center of the frame and ask that he be identified as the defendant.
JACK: Miss Guzman, what happened to you while you were walking through the park? I was passing a group of men.
They said something.
I ignored them.
Then one of them grabbed me.
Another one splashed me with water.
Then they surrounded me.
Tearing at my clothes.
Groping me.
Then One of them put his hands on my breast.
And his tongue in my ear.
That was nice.
What did you do? I tried to fight them off with my fists, I kicked at them, whatever I could do.
Do you see any of those individuals in this courtroom? Him.
Let the record show that the witness identified the defendant, Nestor Salazar.
JUDGE: So ordered.
Where were you in the park when this attack occurred? Near the lake with the rowboats.
Nothing further.
What specifically did Mr.
Salazar do to you, Miss Guzman? He was one of the group that attacked me.
Listen carefully to the question.
What specifically did Mr.
Salazar do to you? He was there.
I'm not sure what he did.
Did you see Mr.
Salazar attack Susan Capp? No, but I saw him running down to the lake.
But did you, at anytime, see Mr.
Salazar with Susan Capp? No, I didn't.
Thank you.
No further questions.
I knew Nestor and the rest of these guys from the projects.
And Nestor's Brazilian.
Sometimes I think he tried too hard to prove that he was down with the neighborhood.
He wanted to fit in.
When I saw him and these other guys spraying the girls with water, I went over to them and tried to chill them out a little bit.
They showed me enough respect that they stopped.
Was that the last time you saw them that day? I had my kids with me.
I was buying them ice cream.
One of the guys with Nestor came running over to me and said Nestor was flipping out.
I went over and saw him in a rowboat banging this women's head against the side.
JACK: What did you do? I ran into the lake, climbed on the boat and pulled him off her.
I didn't know how bad she was hurt and I didn't know she was going to fall in the water and drown.
You know, I needed to get Nestor out of there.
I needed to look after my kids.
With all the craziness in the park.
I never got back.
(EXHALES) My client wants a deal.
What's he offering? To plead to negligent homicide.
You're dreaming.
He's willing to do time.
Negligent homicide won't get him more than a year.
And how much time do you think he deserves? What? We're charging him with man two, that ought to give you some idea.
You guys finally got the defendant you wanted, didn't you, huh? Even though the kid's not Puerto Rican, he looks like he could be Puerto Rican.
I mean, Brazil is still Latin America, right? So, as long as he's Latino, you got exactly the right kind of head on your stick.
I don't care what kind of head I have on a stick.
All I care about is, did he do the crime? Yeah, right.
My brother's a follower.
He gets together with his so-called friends, he does what they do.
Have you known your brother to be violent before? Never.
Have you known your brother to be abusive or threatening towards women before? My brother respected women.
He grew up in a house with strong women.
He would not have gotten away for a second if he did anything but respect women.
That's true for his mother, his aunts, his cousins.
And how about women other than the women in his family? Nestor didn't start going out with girls till he was 17 years old.
He was real shy.
My girlfriends would come over and he would be too embarrassed to speak.
Finally he started going out with this girl and it was the sweetest thing you ever saw.
He'd open doors for her, hold hands with her.
I remember once coming into the room hearing his friends laughing at him because he hadn't nailed her.
He shrugged, took the abuse.
All he said was they were waiting.
I don't understand what's happening in that courtroom.
JACK: The Defense is presenting its case.
Well, I know that.
But they seem to be making this Hispanic kid the victim.
Like we should all feel sorry for him because maybe some of his buddies made too much fun of him when he was young.
It's not an unusual tactic for a defendant to play to the sympathy of a jury.
JACK: Especially with the testimony of a family member.
And what about sympathy for our daughter? When do we get a chance to tell them who she was? The system doesn't work that way.
Well, it damn well ought to.
Before they write her off, they got to know how special she was.
We had to have a closed coffin.
Her face was so If who our daughter was truly isn't relevant in that courtroom, then make that jury see that it wasn't just Susan who was attacked that day.
It was their daughters, too.
Their sisters, mothers.
Maybe they'll care about that.
All day these guys had been riding me about not joinin' in.
I hung back when they were robbing the vendors.
I hung back when they were getting the girls wet with water bottles.
If your friends were doing these things, why weren't you? I didn't feel right.
I knew my friends didn't necessarily mean to hurt anybody, they were just getting caught up in things.
But I didn't feel right.
When you got to the lake, what happened? Like I said, all day they had been riding me, so when I saw this girl on a rowboat, I figured I'd make like a pirate and show my friends I could do stuff, too.
And what did you do? I jumped into the rowboat.
I tried to splash the girl to get her wet like my friends did with those other girls.
I tried to get her wet so her body would show through her clothes like my friends did with the other girls, but then she stood up and slapped me in the face.
And she was big and strong and I didn't realize that when I jumped into the boat and the next thing I knew, my friends were watching me get beat up by this girl.
So I grabbed her and I banged her head back, back and back.
The next thing I knew, someone was pulling me off of her and she jumped off the boat into the water.
When you went into that boat, Nestor, did you mean to hurt her? No.
Did there come a point on the boat when you thought she was going to hurt you? Yes.
Did it ever occur to you that what you were doing would bring about her death? No.
God, no.
Your witness.
Are you familiar with the New York City subway system, Mr.
Salazar? Yeah.
Did you know how to get home from Central Park on your own? Yes.
Then I wonder why it didn't occur to you, when your friends were doing what they were doing, to leave? We came together, I figured we'd leave together.
So, even though you were uncomfortable, so you say, with your friends robbing vendors and attacking women, you decided to stick around because that was less uncomfortable for you than leaving? I know now that I should've left.
But if you'd left, you wouldn't have been able to show your friends how tough you are.
Objection, Your Honor.
How many times did you bang Susan Capp's head against the side of the boat, Mr.
Salazar? I don't know.
More than once? Yes.
More than twice? Yes.
More than 10 times? No.
Because someone pulled you off.
I didn't know what I was doing.
You just knew that you wanted to do it in front of your friends.
I have no further questions.
The events following the Puerto Rican Day Parade shocked and horrified us.
We watched young men engage in brutal and bestial behavior.
And we felt, correctly, that they must be punished.
We in the Puerto Rican community felt this no less than anyone else.
We felt a particular sense of revulsion and dread because we knew it would be held against all Puerto Ricans.
We knew that our parade a joyful expression of our culture and our pride, would forever be linked to events that had nothing to do with it.
Now, the Prosecution has worked very hard to establish a link between those events and the crime for which the defendant is charged.
They would only be too happy to turn your shock and your horror into a blind reflex of vengeance directed at the defendant.
And I'm going to be quite honest with you.
That's a very hard thing to resist.
But it's also the very essence of your responsibility as jurors to do so.
There is no question that this young man did something very wrong that day.
This woman's death is a tragedy and it must be answered for.
But it was not manslaughter.
Nestor Salazar acted foolishly and impulsively and negligently.
But he did not commit manslaughter.
And your sworn oath requires that you find him not guilty of that.
The Defense would like you to see Nestor Salazar as a follower, a hanger on.
A timid, polite boy who was compelled to commit this horrible crime by the stronger personalities of his friends.
They were the ones robbing the vendors and sexually assaulting the women, egging him on to commit an act of violence wholly uncharacteristic of him.
And accidental in nature.
Well, there's no question that what we saw in the park that day was the behavior of a mob.
Not an Hispanic mob.
Not a Puerto Rican mob.
Just a mob.
With all the false bravado and anonymity that it provides.
But a mob is made up of people.
And we hold people responsible for the consequences of their actions.
The consequence of the defendant's action is that a woman is dead.
We can dispense with the discussion of who in this group was less of a bad person or more of a bad person.
We can focus, we must focus, on what was done.
On what he did.
What happened that Sunday afternoon in Central Park in June, was the suspension of civilization.
This is when civilization gets restored.
This is how it gets restored.
Find him guilty of manslaughter.
Has the jury reached a verdict? WOMAN: We have, Your Honor.
What say you? We find the defendant guilty of manslaughter in the second degree.
(GAVEL BANGS) Her parents are heading back to Boston tonight.
I promised them we'd make arrangements to fly them down for sentencing.
I'm surprised they're willing to come back.
We started off with a white guy, put a Brazilian behind bars for what happened at the Puerto Rican Day Parade.
New York City, the melting pot.