Law & Order (1990–2010)
7.9/10
172
3 user

Competence 

Van Buren kills an intellectually disabled, unarmed teenager at an ATM. She claims it was a robbery attempt, and that there's a second, armed suspect on the loose. But not everyone believes her.

Director:

Fred Gerber

Writers:

Dick Wolf (created by), Michael S. Chernuchin | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Jerry Orbach ... Detective Lennie Briscoe
Chris Noth ... Detective Mike Logan
S. Epatha Merkerson ... Lieutenant Anita Van Buren
Sam Waterston ... E.A.D.A. Jack McCoy
Jill Hennessy ... A.D.A. Claire Kincaid
Steven Hill ... D.A. Adam Schiff
Samuel E. Wright ... Jerome Osborn
Jude Ciccolella ... Captain Dennis Burnett
Omar Scroggins ... Zack Rowland (as Omar Sharif Scroggins)
Lisa Louise Langford Lisa Louise Langford ... Marjorie Gordon
Marcella Lowery ... Van Buren's Attorney
Carolyn McCormick ... Dr. Elizabeth Olivet
Jacklin Brooke Sanford Jacklin Brooke Sanford ... Guinivere Sheffield
Rochelle Oliver ... Judge Grace Larkin
Fredro Starr ... Tony 'G-Dog' Rowland
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Storyline

The police find themselves investigating one of their own when Lt. Van Buren shoots a young intellectually disabled boy at an ATM. She's certain that one of the boys had a gun and Capt. Dennis Burnett tells everyone to stay out of the investigation but Detectives Lenny Briscoe and Mike Logan can't help but look into the case. They find the second boy, Zack Rowland, and McCoy for his part takes the case to a grand jury who refuse to indict Van Buren. She's not happy however because a non-indictment isn't the same as being found innocent. When Logan and Briscoe find the gun Zack used, they have to find a way to prove he had it in his possession. Written by garykmcd

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Details

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 November 1994 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Chris Noth (Mike Logan) & Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Detective Brian Keene) also worked together on episode 6.18, The Good Wife: Loser Edit (2015), of The Good Wife (2009), as Peter Florrick & Charles Jinks respectively. See more »

Goofs

Claire asks the teacher to quantify the dead kid's incompetence, and the teacher says his I.Q. was around 40. Claire then asks how that translates to intellectual age, and the teacher says "It doesn't. We don't make those kinds of judgments." But the definition of Intelligence Quotient is intellectual age divided by physical age. So before an I.Q. can be calculated, intellectual age must be assessed. See more »

Quotes

Lt. Anita Van Buren: Were you born a smart-ass, or did it just come with the job?
Jack McCoy: I'm a pussycat. You should've met my old man.
Lt. Anita Van Buren: Lawyer?
Jack McCoy: Cop.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Van Buren in the hot seat
26 January 2015 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

S. Eptha Merkerssen is the one getting grilled in this Law And Order episode. Lt. Van Buren while with her children is accosted by two young kids, one of them with a gun. Big mistake to hold up a police officer, she shoots one of them.

But this particular kid was slightly retarded and as the younger and more malevolent one Omar Scroggins says, he keeps him around because he looks menacing. I can understand that I had a friend who also was big and hulking and looked intimidating. Once he opened his mouth he spoke like Bullwinkle. But stay silent and you can get away with it.

Scroggins is a real punk, but he learned it from an older brother played by rapper Fredro Starr who's a career criminal. When his parole is threatened he has no hesitation in giving up his little brother and that leads to the his weapon.

Even though the Grand Jury clears Van Buren the DA wants to see some justice as far as the surviving perpetrator. But Scroggins has himself a civil rights attorney in the Alton Maddox/C.Vernon Mason tradition. Google those names if they're unfamiliar to you now. Samuel E. Wright is the attorney and he's trying this in the court of public opinion. Waterston will have to button this one down real tight.

Merkerssen is the dominant cast member, one of her best performances on Law And Order.


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