Law & Order (1990) s14e14 Episode Script

City Hall

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.
So then she made him wait until, like, midnight just for a fax.
What a bitch.
Did he say anything to Councilman Reardon? Oh, no.
What was he supposed to Oh, God.
Craig's at the desk.
- Hey! One of those for me? - We didn't know you were here, Craig.
Now, why did the fisherman cross the road? These are getting cold, Craig.
Why did the fisherman cross the road? To get away from you? Just for the halibut.
Don't you get it? "Hell of it" Halibut? Very funny, Craig, for a five-year-old.
Guy fires three rounds, then he's out the door.
What's the body count? Two down.
Councilman ClarenceJohnson shot in the neck.
Bled out before anybody could help him.
The other victim's in surgery at Beekman.
Another councilman? No.
Thank God.
A guy named Tabachnik, works for D.
P Water and Sewer.
Is he gonna make it? Looks that way.
The mayor's been notified.
He's on his way back from the Bronx.
What about the witnesses? There were nine employees here in the rotunda at the time.
They're upstairs in the conference room.
Where they can compare notes.
I'll put them in nine different rooms.
Anything you need, Anita, just ask.
Councilman Johnson's staff still here? We locked down the building as soon as this happened.
Nobody's come or gone.
Yeah, except for the shooter.
White, mid-20s, I mostly saw his back.
He just tore ass right past me.
You didn't try to stop him? Hey, I didn't get the call on my radio till like a minute after it happened.
And by then the shooter was in the wind.
I was coming in from lunch.
As soon as I walked in, I heard the shots.
Did you see the gunman? Ran right past me.
White guy, about 40, losing his hair a little, with this crazed look in his eyes.
The mayor wants answers now.
- I understand how important this is.
When we know, you'll know.
Any leads? I gotta give him something.
A white male, acting alone.
Give us some time, Mr.
Any way we can help, let us know.
You have the full weight of the administration behind you.
That's fine.
Just keep it off my back.
How did he get a gun through the metal detector? Good question.
Well, give me a good answer.
Not everybody goes through the metal detector.
If it was a busy day like today, people that work here, we know 'em.
We usually let them go around, so they don't have to wait in line.
Now there's a reason you're not supposed to do that.
You have to be a city employee or have an appointment with someone.
You can't just walk in off the street.
City Hall, closed to the public.
Like every place else, they tightened up after 9/11.
Yeah, and like every place else, they slipped right back into business as usual.
So where are we on the gun? Slug we pulled from the wall was from a.
There's no shell casings, so we're looking for a revolver.
How about the eyewitnesses? All over the map.
Yeah, white guy between 20 and 40, scraggly dark hair or no hair, So, every white male in the city except you.
Van Buren.
The second victim is out of recovery.
I'm a water inspector.
Haven't been to City Hall in 23 years.
Day I go, some wackadoo blows a gasket.
Well, consider yourself lucky, Mr.
Councilman Johnson died.
I was three feet from the guy, talkin' to somebody about water meters.
Did you get a look at the shooter? Just for a moment.
Sounded like a firecracker goin' off.
I turned around and there was this lunatic with a gun.
What did this lunatic look like? Uh, white guy, 5'10", 6'0".
Just a normal-looking guy.
Next thing I know, somebody's yelling, "Get down.
" I'm on the ground.
My shoulder's on fire.
Then I'm layin' there, on the marble floor there next to the councilman.
I could hear him moanin', real soft like.
My brother-in-law worked his way up from firefighter to the city council.
Founded the Fort Greene After-School Initiative.
Pushed through legislation to fund a free shuttle for elderly voters.
Well, the voters loved him.
Now, what about family? Is there a Mrs.
Johnson? Clarence was single.
Believe me, my mother-in-law wasn't happy about it.
Did he have any personal problems? Not that I know of.
If you think this was some romantic mess, you're way off base.
Clarence wasn't seein' anybody.
Well, the gunman was white.
Maybe it was a racial thing? Maybe.
He was the only black guy in his firehouse.
You're not staying for the service, Mark? I can't.
Please give my condolences to your family.
Nice of you to stop by.
Actually, I'm surprised he bothered.
- Oh, he's not one of your brother-in-law's admirers? - Mark Lanier.
He and Clarence came up through the fire department together.
I think he was always a little jealous of Clarence's success.
Uh, if you'll excuse me for a minute? Mr.
Lanier! Mind if I ask you a couple of questions? I have to get back to work.
Look, uh, I hear that, uh, you and Clarence weren't on the best of terms.
A lot of people weren't on the best of terms with Clarence.
Like who? The city council voted to close a couple of fire stations last session for budgetary reasons.
Clarence led the charge.
Johnson's on thejob putting his life on the line like the rest of us.
Then one day he trades his turnout gear for a suit and a tie, and suddenly he don't know us from Adam.
Hey, do other guys in the department feel the same as you do? Well, the men in the houses that closed weren't thrilled about being transferred.
But truth be told, at the end of the day, nobody lost his job.
Well, how about the neighborhoods that lost firehouses? According to the study commissioned by Councilman Johnson, response time won't be adversely affected by the closures.
- You don't sound convinced.
- Truck's gotta come from somewhere further away.
- You do the math.
- So, which neighborhoods got the short straw? Uh, Bay Ridge and Sheepshead Bay.
Black councilman closes station houses in Italian neighborhoods.
Engine 244's been in Sheepshead Bay for 86 years.
One day they wake up, they decide we don't need it anymore.
Well, the truth is, Mrs.
Antinori, the whole city's feelin' the pinch.
Yeah, well, let them pinch somewheres else.
We formed the community association 'cause we're sick of gettin' the short end of the stick from the city.
Councilman Johnson being the guy holding the other end? I don't see 'em closin' any fire stations in Fort Greene.
Uh, you know what? I think we're gonna need the names and addresses of all the members of your association.
I think you watched The Godfather too many times.
We dealt with this the good old-fashioned American way.
And how's that, with a.
38 revolver? A grassroots campaign.
We got behind a candidate to challengeJohnson for his seat Sonny Rodino.
Hey, look.
It's January.
The primary isn't until September.
Yeah, well, there's still plenty to do.
Sonny organized rallies, a letter-writing campaign to keep the station opened.
He even debated Johnson right in the firehouse.
How'd that go? Not good.
A couple of the firefighters had to pull 'em apart.
You know where we can find Mr.
Rodino? He hasn't been around much since he started a new job a few weeks ago.
We're looking for Sonny Rodino.
- Who? Sonny Rodino.
Never heard of him.
We were told that he works here.
Well, I don't know who told you that or what their problem is, but there's no Sonny "Rodrigo" here.
Call your boss! CJ.
, you got a couple of cops out here wanna talk to you.
He'll be right out.
That's quite a coincidence, Mr.
Abernathy, you employing your brother-in-law's political rival.
You know, it might have been nice if you mentioned that little tidbit the first time we met.
Clarence asked me to hire Sonny, you know, off the books.
A no-show job.
Which explains why "I Love Lucy" out there didn't know who the hell he was.
It was the only way Rodino would stay out of the primary.
How much cash is Rodino gettin' under the table? He was getting 1,500 a week.
"Was"? Well, the filing deadline for the primary passed, and there was no way he could challenge Clarence for his seat.
So Clarence told me to cut Sonny loose.
You better have a damn good reason for hauling me down here.
Empire State Printing, Mr.
What about it? A no-show job, Which I got for three weeks before the bastards fired me.
Oh, it sounds like a good reason to shoot somebody.
Oh, no.
No way! Okay, where were you Aqueduct.
Spending some of your hard-earned cash? That's right.
I actually hit a trifecta.
I keyed a filly named Miss Demeanor in the third.
Paid 700 and change.
You can check it out.
Yeah, just like you did in Thursday morning's sports section.
- This is bull.
I'm goin' home.
- Not till we say so.
- And what am I charged with? - You can start with tax evasion.
You got an I.
Badge you didn't show me? 'Cause if you don't, I'm outta here.
Everybody take a deep breath.
Can I see you two outside for a second? What do we actually have on this guy? You mean, besides a bad attitude? He's got a nothin' alibi and a kick-ass revenge motive.
It's not good enough on a case like this.
Arrange some lineups with whatever witnesses you can pull in.
We've got six different descriptions.
To be honest, Rodino doesn't fit any of'em to a "T.
" Well, the guard on the metal detector said he let the regulars through without a scan.
See if you can put Rodino on the V.
Yeah, I've seen this guy come through here before.
How'd he get in? Always some kind of official business.
What, I can't tell you.
- What about the day of the shooting? - It's hard to say.
There was a bunch of stuff going on a school field trip, uh, a bill signing, a huge notice and comment session in the main council room.
"Notice and comment"? Refresh my memory.
I slept through high school civics.
It's a big public hearing.
What was it about? Um, a bunch of business people pissin' and moanin' about their water bills.
Man, were they ticked.
Water bills? - Was Councilman Johnson involved in that? - Nah, he'd just come in from lunch.
They must've been goin' off on somebody else.
Somebody else? Like a water inspector? The day our water inspector got shot, there were 200 citizens at city hall gripin' about their water bills.
Plus, Rodino's alibi checked out.
A clerk at Aqueduct confirmed that he took his bet.
So we were looking at the wrong victim.
Well, high-profile councilman, low-level bureaucrat I mean, you hear hoofbeats, you think horses, not zebras.
We also took for granted that the shooter hit who he was aimin' for.
All right, if the shooter wasn't a regular, how'd he get the gun past the metal detector? The magnetometers are outside city hall.
He could've slipped the gun under the fence, gone through security, then picked it up on the other side.
I have to break all this to the mayor.
Run down that water bill angle.
I've never done nothing to nobody.
Why would anybody wanna kill me? - That's what we're trying to figure out.
- On the day of the shooting, a lot of business owners were down at city hall complaining about their water bills.
Not their bills, how they're calculated.
City's considering new regs allowing for estimated readings.
Pretend for a minute that water regs aren't our life's work.
Well, estimated readings, just what it sounds like one master meter per block.
Wait, what are you saying? That you guess how much individual businesses use? - Well, that doesn't sound fair.
- They get ticked off either way.
Water and sewer combined, bills can run to five figures on a commercial property.
And nobody thinks they owe what they owe.
Anybody angry enough to do somethin' about it? It's the city does the billing.
I'm just the guy people see.
Ever hear the expression "shooting the messenger"? Geez.
You know, I I take so much crap I I never thought They don't pay me enough for this.
The people who dole out this crap you take, we're gonna need a list of your top 10.
We're looking for the owner.
Hey, Stu, cops.
Stuart Rubin.
Can I help you boys with something? We got, uh, scanners, state-of-the-art walkies, antennas No.
We got questions about a water inspector.
He said you got pretty worked up over a bill he hit you with.
And he called the cops? So you were worked up.
Do you see a laundry here? Do you see a commercial kitchen? No way we could use 30-grand worth of water in a year, much less a month.
The water inspector we're talking about was one of the shooting victims over at city hall.
- And you think that I - Looks like you had 30,000 reasons to be mad.
Yeah, I've also got arthritis.
I can barely make a fist.
You tell me.
How am I supposed to shoot a gun? I told Tabachnik I was grandfathered in under the old '97 rates.
All it'd take is one lousy look at the regs.
All he knows is what's written on his friggin' clipboard.
Mm, that must've pissed you off.
Well, it didn't exactly thrill me.
Who's gonna lend me money to pay my bills with a water lien hangin' over my head? So, maybe you thought you'd teach him a.
38-caliber lesson? I was in 'Nam two tours.
If I wanted to throw a shot at Tabachnik, believe me, he wouldn't be talking to you.
That ain't exactly a denial, Dale.
Well, then this is.
It wasn't me.
I'm sure you'll understand if we don't just take your word for that.
Wednesday afternoon, I would've been closin'down the lunch-hour rush.
I could line up a few waitresses, a half-a-dozen customers if I had to.
And you have to names and numbers.
We've exhausted Tabachnik's fan club.
All right, thanks.
Not the right age, not the right race, some kind of alibi And these are all the people who were angry with him? Oh, probably not even close.
Just the ones who gave him the most grief.
So, start with the ones who suffered in silence.
Tabachnik read half the meters in Manhattan.
Here, you want to take our pictures so you can remember what we look like? You're right.
What if we could get all these people to come to us? Oh, then we'd be magicians, not cops.
Remember that sting operation when the warrant squad invited its top fugitives to a giveaway for Yankee tickets? That's right, on the first base line.
They grabbed, what, almost a couple dozen felons? Tabachnik's angry businessmen would go anywhere we told them if they thought it would get their water bills wiped clean.
And maybe Tabachnik can I.
One of'em.
Set it up.
Maybe you didn't hear me the first time.
Form G-5 is the one you have to fill out in triplicate.
But there are only two copies.
Hey, I don't make the rules.
I just follow them.
Uh, but All right.
We'll mail you one.
! He is enjoying this way too much.
Any familiar faces? Not yet.
I'm sorry, but amnesty's only being given to people who meet a specific set of criteria.
And what's the criteria? We'll let you know.
I came all the way down here for "We'll let you know"? It's a bureaucracy, ma'am.
Well, that's three hours of my life I'm never gonna get back.
Was it worth it? Well, we've got one candidate.
- I'm pretty sure this is the guy.
- That makes him Peter Rubin, Flushing, New York.
Rubin, as in Stuart Rubin? As in Stuart Electronics? Well, I won't All right, just put it Detectives.
I thought we took care of everything.
That was before we found out your son doesn't have arthritis.
Yeah, Peter? You don't think you should have mentioned him before? Now, why would I? He had nothing to do with Ah, speak of the devil.
- Is there something wrong? - You're the only putz I know who can go downtown for amnesty and come back with homicide detectives.
Homicide detectives? I have no idea what this is about.
It's about that monster water bill Tabachnik dumped on you.
I didn't do anything.
You should be talking to those schmucks down at Radio Zone.
They're the guys I can handle it, Pop! Yeah, a fine job you're doing too.
What's Radio Zone got to do with this? They're a national chain.
My father seems to think They've been trying to buy us out.
We told them to take a hike.
A week later, this Tabachnik shows up with a water bill for a hundred times what we owe, which could put us out of business, like that.
- So your son decided to get even.
- Tabachnik's the crook! If he's doing the dirty work for that company, how many enemies do you think he made? You serious about checking out Radio Zone? I've been meaning to return this nose-hair trimmer I got for Christmas.
Tabachnik tagged Peter as the shooter.
Hey, I'm not saying I don't like him as the shooter, but ifTabachnik is crooked, there could be more to this than we think.
You honestly believe we would bribe a water inspector to get what we want? It could come in handy.
You soften the ground with a large bill your target can't pay, then you move in and scoop up the leftovers.
And I should go through all that trouble for Stuart Electronics? They haven't turned a profit in the last two years.
- Ground's already soft.
- It does seem like a hell of a coincidence that Tabachnik shows up a week after the Rubins told you where to stick your buyout.
Is that what they told you? Did they also tell you the son is a paranoid lunatic? Did they tell you Junior brought a gun into my office? - What kind of gun? - A.
38 revolver.
I know guns.
My brother's a cop.
Little punk had it stuck in his waistband, but he made sure I saw it, you know? He kept going on about how we wasn't gonna stand for this nonsense anymore.
- You'd be willing to sign a complaint? - Sure.
Mind if we come in? What the hell's going on? You can'tjust break in here like this.
! Actually, we have a warrant that says we can do exactly that.
Peter Rubin, you're under arrest.
You have the right to remain silent.
Peter, what's going on? It's all right, honey.
It's just a misunderstanding.
In front ofhis wife and kids, you gotta do this? Hey, if you want to make a complaint, call your councilman.
You have the right to remain silent.
Docket ending 6752, People versus Peter Rubin.
Charge is murder in the second degree, attempted murder in the second degree.
Oh, the city hall shooting.
How did I get so lucky? May it please the court, the firm of Fernands, McCarthy and Clymer, byJohn W.
Clymer, counsel for the accused, Peter Rubin.
First time in criminal court, Mr.
Clymer? I ordinarily handle the Rubins' business and probate work.
Well, I'll tell you what.
For you, we'll keep it simple.
- Guilty or - Not guilty, Your Honor.
You see how easy that was? Now, let's see how you do with bail.
- The People request remand, Your Honor.
- Mr.
Clymer? My client has a family, a business, strong ties to the community Not strong enough to keep him from opening fire on people - in a cathedral of that community.
- What happened to the presumption of innocence? I see you still remember a few things from Crim Pro.
The surviving victim picked the defendant out of a lineup.
Set bail at 250,000 cash or bond.
Docket number 2876351 Another thing I remember from Crim Pro is that evidence isn't admissible when it's obtained pursuant to an unlawful search.
My motion to suppress.
This case must be high profile if you're bird-dogging the arraignment.
I wasn't there to second-guess.
The mayor's office is all over Arthur, so Arthur's all over me.
Well, tell him not to worry.
Did you see Rubin's lawyer? I saw him hand you a blueback.
It's a suppression motion.
But it doesn't make any sense.
Civil lawyer who's out of his element? He's under the impression that the police found a.
38 Special during the search.
So they think we have the murder weapon, but we don't? If the search of Rubin's apartment turned up anything, it's news to me.
Talk to Briscoe.
If they found a smoking gun, it would be nice if they kept us in the loop.
You sure you're not confusing this with some other case? Well, if I am, then Rubin's lawyer is too.
Now I'm confused.
What, Rubin's lawyer said we found a gun in Rubin's home? That's right.
Off the record, the officers that assisted you, you sure they didn't pocket the gun? Well, that would be textbook police work.
I'm not accusing.
Then what do you call it? Covering my ass.
I have to ask you, because at some point a judge is gonna ask me.
Okay, so ask.
Did anyone find any type of weapon in Peter Rubin's home? Not unless you count the world's most boring record collection.
So, basically, we've been served with a motion to suppress evidence we don't have.
Well, look at the bright side.
If we lose, we're no worse off.
We're still left with the question of why the defense thinks we found a gun.
Well, I'm sure Rubin told his lawyer that his.
38 was missing, and Clymer was too green to keep his mouth shut.
Which is why they hired me.
Hey, Jack.
How's the leg, Danielle? Great.
Doctor says by this time next year I'll be dancing the night away.
And in the meantime, you're representing Peter Rubin.
That surprises me.
A victim of gun violence Defending a victim of government misconduct, Jack.
The detectives executed a valid warrant.
Yeah, too little, too late.
- What are you talking about? - Two days before the search warrant was issued, the police tossed my client's apartment and seized his gun without a warrant.
Come on, you didn't know? Ms.
Melnick, you're saying there were two searches? - Exactly, Your Honor.
- We talked to our detectives.
They deny executing a prior search.
What? You telling me you didn't know Peter Rubin had a gun in his apartment? Not until the motion to suppress.
This is what you get for hiring a probate lawyer to defend you for murder.
Sure they're being honest with you? Ms.
I have an affidavit, Your Honor, right here, from Peter Rubin's neighbor who swears that she saw two men exit a sedan and enter the Rubins' apartment after his wife and his children had left for the day.
One hour later, they emerged with a file carton containing my client's.
38, which they removed from the premises.
How could this neighbor even know that the men she saw were police? It could have been a burglary.
Oh, come on.
Burglars in suits and trench coats? In any event, the court can't exclude evidence the People don't have in the first place.
He's right, Ms.
It seems your motion is moot.
But if I were you, Mr.
McCoy, I'd get to the bottom of this.
I checked with Rubin's local precinct.
There's no record of any ongoing case.
What about other jurisdictions? There's no precinct in the tristate area investigating the Rubins.
But the feds could be another story.
I'm sorry, but I can't confirm or deny any ongoing investigations conducted by the U.
Attorney's office.
In other words, it's classified? Let's just say there are some very real security concerns that necessitate strict confidentiality.
You can trust us to keep your secrets, Mr.
- It's not a question of trust.
- Then what is it a question of? Policy.
So it's D.
Policy - to sit on material evidence that would convict a murderer? - We don't sit on evidence, Ms.
There are some things that are bigger than your little world, if you can imagine that.
I doubt those things would justify a warrantless search.
Do you honestly think we'd send agents into anyone's home without a warrant? Do you really think we're that stupid? No, Mr.
Cagnetta, I don't.
Bureaucratic doublespeak and non-denial denials.
But if you read between the lines, it looks like the men who searched Rubin's apartment were F.
Yeah, but even if we knew the agents' names, I doubt they'd talk to us.
Probably not.
But Cagnetta as good as told us they had a warrant.
And a warrant means a paper trail.
- R-U-B-I-N? - That's right.
Stuart or Peter.
What about Stuart Electronics? Strike two.
There's no record of any warrant of any kind applied for or served on a Rubin or a Stuart Electronics.
So nothing on the judicial docket.
What about the national database? Only thing coming up is a rejected application for a video game export license.
Nothing too sinister there, right? Okay, thanks.
Why would Stuart Electronics need a license to sell video games? Beats me.
Hey, Andrew? This lady wants to know why you would need a license to export video games.
Oh, it's not the games.
It's the systems they're played on.
Those things are just really fast computers.
Anything with a speed of over 85,000 MTOPS, U.
Export Administration's worried the wrong people are gonna use the technology to build encryption machines or missile guidance systems.
The wrong people? You know, countries on speaking terms with the "Axis of Evil.
" I doubt the government's worried Osama's spending too much time playing "Grand Theft Auto" on his PlayStation.
The game machines qualify as dual-use technology.
Benign products that can be turned into weapons.
Stuart Electronics applied for a license to ship these gizmos overseas? And the feds denied it.
But according to their U.
Account, the Rubins shipped 14 units of something to Algeria anyway.
Not exactly a country on our Christmas card list.
But definitely on the list of countries which we can't export dual-use technology to.
And they sold the machines for 10 times what they would get in the States.
That'll get the D.
's attention every time.
Now that we know what the F.
Was doing in their clubhouse, maybe they'll let us in without the secret password.
We know you're investigating Stuart Electronics for violating various export administration regulations.
We know that you sent the F.
To conduct a search of Peter Rubin's apartment.
And we know they seized evidence, including a.
38-caliber handgun.
We believe it was used in the city hall shooting.
It sounds like you think you know quite a bit.
Which begs the question of why your office continues to keep us in the dark, particularly when you have the evidence we need to convict a murderer.
This issue is very complex, Mr.
I'm a smart guy.
We're not being proprietary here.
The black box policy exists to preserve the integrity of our investigations.
In other words, you don't want anyone to find out that you're entering people's homes without a warrant.
Assuming, arguendo, the F.
Conducted a search of Mr.
Rubin's apartment, I assure you it was 100% legal.
Except that there's no record of any search warrants being applied for at the federal level.
That's because all of the court proceedings in this case are secret.
- Secret? - A secret warrant.
Issued by a secret court.
The FISA court in Washington it's been around since '78.
"FISA?" The "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
" Patriot Act expanded its scope after 9/11.
It took 3,000 dead Americans to get the politicians off their butts.
Isn't the idea of a secret court antithetical to our system of justice? The court isn't secret.
Their proceedings are.
No different than a grand jury.
Except with a grandjury, it's my fellow citizens who are calling shots.
The FISA court was set up to go after spies and terrorists.
Its proceedings need to be classified.
Except Peter Rubin isn't a spy or a terrorist.
Well, he may have aided and abetted them in clear violation of federal law.
So, the feds can go into my home without telling me, search my house and hack into my computer if they say it's related to foreign intelligence? Sneak-and-peek warrants were valid long before FISA came along.
They were also rarities, Arthur.
There've been over 14,000 FISA warrants requested.
- Only five have ever been denied.
- Well, that tells me that the deck is stacked.
That tells me that prosecutors don't make frivolous applications.
You all don't have much faith in the federal government, do you? They are the ones who won't give us the murder weapon.
Missed you at last year's reunion, Arthur.
Oh, I don't have the time to sit around and pontificate about the significance of Hadley versus Baxendale.
Of course, if I were on the federal bench like you You wouldn't have to spend all your free time pandering to constituents before election day.
What's on your mind, Arthur? Oh, I wanted to talk to you about that little stint you did down in Washington.
Now, you know I can't comment on that.
I'm prosecuting a case where the murder weapon was seized pursuant to a FISA warrant.
I'm not sure I like where this is going.
The feds won't turn the evidence over to us.
This is the city hall shooting, Vance.
The world has changed, Arthur.
We all have to roll with the punches.
But I still need my gun.
Can I help you? Special AgentJamal Atkinson.
To what do we owe the pleasure? This Colt.
38 Special was recovered from the home of Peter Rubin by federal agents.
What are we supposed to tell the jury, that the gun fell from the sky? Here's my chain of custody affidavit.
If your case goes to trial, keep me off the stand.
I can't make any promises.
You know I can't keep you off the stand unless the defense stipulates to the gun.
The people who sent me here did you a favor, Mr.
You see what you can do.
Hey, Jack.
Can I join you? Shouldn't you be spoon-feeding witnesses for tomorrow? I don't have to anymore, do I? Thanks to the F.
I'll have a soda water with lime, please.
You knew? I suspected.
Positive ballistics and a print match with your client He was the city hall shooter, and we've got him dead to rights.
Thanks to a search the Star Chamber would be proud of.
If that's the way you feel, Danielle, move to suppress.
Judge Logan's gonna rule FISA violates the Fourth Amendment.
How many beers have you had? - This doesn't bother you? - It was a legal search.
Letter of the law, maybe.
But when federal agents creep into my client's home and go through his possessions because some secret court rubber-stamped a secret warrant are you kidding? This is outrageous.
And if you use the evidence, you're complicit.
Complicit in putting a murderer away.
What do you think my responsibility is? To seek justice for the city without undercutting the rights of its citizens.
- Exactly.
- If all they think about is getting the conviction, nothing's gonna stop them from kicking in our doors in the middle of the night! That's not happening, Danielle, and you know it.
Melnick's just unhappy because we've got her client by the scruff of the neck.
So the search doesn't bother you? FISA? There's nothing sinister about it.
I mean, we're at war here.
I mean, balancing liberty and security is never easy, even on the best of days.
Melnick's bound to make an issue out of this.
- You're worried about jury nullification? - You know, Danielle.
If she doesn't have a case, she'll play to thejury's emotions and put the government's conduct on trial.
Feds had every right to do what they did.
I worry I'm complicit in opening a Pandora's box.
This is the city hall shooting.
And a city councilman is dead.
I don't see where your problem is, Jack.
The day I read the meter at Stuart Electronics, I wasn't feeling so hot I was coming down with the flu.
Did it affect the reading, Mr.
Tabachnik? I transposed the water and sewer numbers.
When that got back to our accounts department, uh, Stuart Electronics got billed $29,000.
When the actual bill should've been what? Uh, 80-something dollars.
This wasn't some big conspiracy, you know.
It was just a mistake.
Do you see the man who shot you in the courtroom today? Yes.
In the gray suit at the table.
Tabachnik, did my client ever complain to you about this water bill? He left several messages on my voice mail.
But you never returned his call or paid another visit to the store? We're all very busy.
There's four inspectors for the whole city.
I see.
So you can understand the frustration that he must have felt trying to get through to you to correct this enormous and terrible error.
Nothing further.
Call your next witness, Mr.
I've subpoenaed Special AgentJamal Atkinson.
This is the.
38 Special I recovered from the home of Peter Rubin on the night ofJanuary 23.
Did this gun undergo any scientific testing? Ballistics analysis determined it was the weapon used in the city hall shootings.
Latent prints were a ten-point match to Peter Rubin.
Atkinson, your search of Peter Rubin's apartment, was it related to this case? No, it was not.
But you had a search warrant.
- Issued from which judge? - I'm not at liberty to disclose that.
Well, was the name of thejudge written on the search warrant that you showed to Peter Rubin? I'm not required to show him the warrant.
He didn't ask to see it? He wasn't home when we entered.
I see.
In fact, no one was, is that correct? Correct.
So who let you in, Agent Atkinson? We let ourselves in.
The door was unlocked? We picked the lock.
Let me understand this.
Federal agents broke into this man's home and ransacked his possessions in total secrecy? I have a problem with these questions.
A witness can't object.
Just answer the question.
We didn't ransack anything.
The warrant was executed pursuant to federal law.
I thought the Constitution was federal law, Agent Atkinson.
Did your warrant specify what you were looking for? Again, Ms.
Melnick, I can't reveal any of the contents of the warrant.
So you never informed Peter Rubin which ofhis possessions you spirited out ofhis home, whether you tapped his kid's computer, whether you bugged his phones? Did you ever inform Mr.
Rubin of your actions, Agent Atkinson? The law doesn't require that.
Which law's that, the Fourth Amendment or something the F.
Borrowed from the K.
? Your Honor, objection.
Melnick, please.
Which law, Agent Atkinson? FISA The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Is Peter Rubin a foreign agent or just some poor schmuck who runs a mom-and-pop electronics store in Queens? Okay, that's enough.
When we got that water bill, it was like a death sentence for our business.
We called Tabachnik.
We called the D.
Nobody talked to us, get our side of the story.
Instead, the city slapped a lien on our store.
And all of this over something Mr.
Tabachnik now acknowledges was a clear mistake? That lien really screwed up our credit.
Some suppliers pulled their business.
To make ends meet, we had to stay open on Sunday.
We shipped some stock overseas Are you talking about those deadly supercomputers you shipped to Algeria? We sent video game machines to a toy store.
We weren't in a position to turn customers away.
So your desperation drove you to break the law.
I started this business It paid for the home my kids grew up in.
It put them through college.
They were trying to take it away.
I want to turn your attention now, Mr.
Rubin, to the day your son was arrested.
Sidebar, Your Honor? Approach the bench.
The circumstances of the defendant's arrest have no relevance here.
It goes to the pattern of the government's conduct, Your Honor.
Which is a legal question.
What counsel is obviously fishing for is jury nullification, which is not a defense in any court.
Your Honor, I can offer evidence as to the defendant's state of mind.
You have a point, Mr.
But in this case, Ms.
Melnick, I'm going to give you some latitude.
Don't abuse it.
Step back.
Rubin, I was asking you about your son's arrest.
It was a nightmare.
The police pushed their way through the door, scared my grandchildren half to death.
And then they started to tear the place apart.
If they wanted to arrest my son, he would have turned himself in.
We could've sent the children to his mother-in-law's.
Why did they have to do it like that? And when did you learn of the F.
's search of your son's home? The one done in secret? When that agent testified.
First, they ruin our business, then they sneak into my son's home, they seize his belongings.
! Objection! This is America! Don't tell me this is right.
Your Honor! Nothing further.
Your son was angry about the water bill and the lien on your business.
Of course, he was.
So angry he was capable of killing the man he held responsible.
You're putting words in my mouth.
Rubin, the gun was found with his fingerprints the murder weapon.
If you believe what the police say.
How do you know they're not making it up manufacturing evidence? They can do whatever they want now.
You think this can never happen here.
I know better.
I've seen it.
And I suppose Mr.
Tabachnik was lying when he pointed at your son in the courtroom here? How deep does this conspiracy go, Mr.
Rubin? The People of the State of New York versus Peter Rubin.
The prosecutors aren't the people.
You are.
You are the people.
You speak for all of us, and not only on guilt or innocence, but on the government's conduct in this case.
How fitting that the incident in question should take place at city hall, because evidence here shows how the government systematically victimized Peter Rubin.
How it took his business, his livelihood, even his privacy.
The government that was supposed to protect him, tormented him instead.
And Peter Rubin and his family were the third victim in this case.
Now, we're all terribly sorry about what happened to Councilman Johnson, but nothing you do today can bring him back.
You can do something about how the government treated Peter Rubin.
Or next time, the home they enter in the dead of night could be yours.
The government's conduct has nothing to do with this case.
Peter Rubin took a gun to city hall and shot two people, one of them fatally.
How ironic that he should murder a lawmaker and now implore you to ignore the law.
While his story might be sympathetic, the actions that he took are reprehensible.
As the judge will instruct you, the Rubins knowingly violated federal law.
The search of Peter Rubin's home by federal agents was legal and beyond reproach.
And the law that permitted it was not applied randomly or capriciously.
You may not like the law, but no one in this room has the authority to pass judgment on it in this forum.
When we disagree with the laws, we take it up with the people who write them.
We speak out with our pens, our voices, our votes.
Not with guns! We don't settle grievances or perceived injustices with violence.
Has thejury reached a verdict? We have, Your Honor.
On the counts of murder and attempted murder in the second degree, how do you find? We find the defendant, Peter Rubin, guilty.
Verdict in the Rubin case? Guilty on all counts.
The jury was only out 35 minutes.
What in the world would you expect? A smoking gun and an eyewitness He got convicted for the same reason they always do.
He pulled the trigger.