NBC’s Law & Order: Amazing Ability to Pack Racist Imagery into 30 Second Interview

I snapped this picture from my DVD as I’m watching NBC’s Law & Order, Season 3, Episode 7, “Self Defense.” Detective Mike Logan (Chris Noth) and Sgt Phil Cerreta (Paul Sorvino) interview Laticia Ramis (Johnnie Mae), the wife or girlfriend of a murder victim. She is holding an infant. In the background, a rap music video is playing, and there is a stack of TVs in boxes.

Scene from NBC's Law & Order S03E07 "Self Defense."

Scene from NBC’s Law & Order S03E07 “Self Defense.”

One must congratulate the writers for hitting so many racist images in a 30-second scene!

Update: The defendant in the episode is a store owner who claimed justifiable homicide. The character Phil Servino, we are told, has investigated 19 cases of police killings and found all justifiable. The story strikes too close to home these days. I think the racist imagery in the scene I highlighted is meant to set up the idea that the victims “deserved it.” Sadly, many people continue to believe that about black men like Travon Martin, Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Update 2: Law & Order Spoof Video

Law and order spoof from Leland Krane on Vimeo.

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