Law & Order: SVU Season 22 Episode 1
Guardians and Gladiators
A Black man films a White woman calling the cops on him because he's in Central Park near her and her son. Cops come. The kid seems calm but the woman insists he's scared. The boy finds a body and the cops decide to arrest the Black man and are violent toward him.
Benson comes to the scene. She talks to the actual victim, who says a man raped him. They can't let the cops ride with the victim because of COVID. The cop says he arrested the guy because he had warrants.
The woman says she knew the guy was a problem. Fin doesn't want the guy arrested but Benson says she has to.
Benson finds out later that the cops were called before the victim was found. Carisi says they need an airtight case.
Javon is upset that no one questioned the White woman, especially Fin.
The victim worked at the hospital. His family is Filopino. Benson and Rollins interview the mother, who wants to know if it was the Black guy from the video. Rollins asks if the mother knows anything about Eric's social life. She says no time for that.
Rollins is surprised that no one knows Eric is gay. Eric's brother tells them that Eric was into partying.
Carisi needs a confession. He questions Javon about a gap in time between when he left work and when he went to the park. He says he was with his NA sponsor.
Rollins and Kat talk to an Irish bar owner who doesn't want to give them anything. Traffic cam footage shows it's not Javon. Rollins recognizes a guy on the cam as having been at the scene at the park.
Benson wants the photos and to see if the brother IDs this guy. The sponsor will only talk to them with Javon's permission. The sponsor vouches for Javon's whereabouts. He asks if Javon needs a lawyer. Benson says they need to get the DA to drop the charges. Fin and Benson want Javon to help them ID the other suspect. Javon is not inclined to help after the way he has been treated.
Eric's brother says that Eric compartmentalized and he knows nothing. There is a hit on the video. This guy is some protester who shouts DEFUND THE POLICE when he's asked to step back. He also has tagged two young girls in a photo.
Garland shows up and says Javon has filed a lawsuit against Benson and Fin. Garland tells them they can't just do business as usual. IAB is investigating.
Garland interviews Fin. He says Benson is not consciously biased against anyone. Garland warns him that any mistake will result in trouble. For him and for Benson. No one is safe.
Kat interviews a young girl who dated the suspect, Joe Murphy. They go to his house and he says the cops didn't do anything wrong. Could he back them up against the "thug". They ask him to give a statement. The mother gives him a mask.
Fin points out they can get a DNA sample off Murphy's mask. Benson must go to IAB. She asks Fin what Garland said.
Fin and Rollins confront Murphy about knowing Eric. He laughs and says he's not gay. He claims he went to his fiancee's and back to the park when he heard sirens. Fin says they'll call her.
The IAB agent knows Benson from Tucker's funeral. Benson says she's not bringing a lawyer. The IAB agent starts the recording.
Carisi says Murphy sleeping means he's guilty. They wake him and Rollins says Ashley backed him up. Fin says she is a liar. They ask about the DNA on his mask. Murphy says he left out that he went to the park to smoke a joint with Eric and Eric tried to have sex with him and he pushed him off. Mr. Murphy's attorney is here. The guy shows up and says Mr. Donovan hired him. Murphy smirks.
Benson testifies to the IAB person, who asks her about a stop and frisk in August 2013. Apparently Amaro and Benson stopped and frisked him during a case where a Black teen was accused of rape. Benson says he fit the profile then. IAB asks what profile did Brown have now. She asks if Benson ran the woman's information. Benson did not. She realizes she should have. She says she is not biased. IAB says she is complicit and everyone must take self-inventory.
Murphy's lawyer tries to claim Eric attacked him. Murphy is arrested anyway. The lawyer says your vic is in a coma and the NYPD looks racist so good luck to you.
Garland and Benson meet. Garland wants Fin to testify instead of Benson. He asks how it went at IAB. He hasn't heard anything and that worries him. Benson says she's going over and over things in her head. SheMurphy cl says she thinks she's been so focused on the victims that her own bias didn't even occur to her. How much did that bias affect her decisions?
Garland feels 1PP is more interested in optics than change. If the NYPD can protect itself by sacrificing a few pawns, they won't hesitate.
At the grand jury hearing the jurors want to ask about Javon Brown's arrest instead of the actual case.
Fin and Carisi argue. Carisi says they're looking for reasons to not trust the cops. Rollins yells at Carisi. Carisi and Fin keep arguing. Murphy's lawyer shows up to announce his client wants to testify. Fin realizes something's up.
Murphy testifies and admits to lying to the cops. Murphy claims he and Eric had sex and then nothing. He claims he was telling the cops what they wanted to hear. He claims his confession was coerced. They were mad at him for filming Javon's arrest. He insists he is innocent. The jurors appear to believe him.
Rollins comes to see Carisi. He admits he's not doing well. Murphy lied and knew exactly what cards to play. G
Grand jury dismisses the case. The family blames the NYPD.
At bedtime Noah is watching the video of Javon getting arrested. Everyone at school has seen it. He asks Benson why she arrested that man. He asks if she's racist.
Benson says you know I'm not. Noah doesn't understand why she can't just apologize.
Javon is working out. Benson wants to talk to her. Javon says he got laid off. He doesn't want Benson's help. She says she wanted to let him know the DA is filing charges against Colleen Reynolds. She says she has a lot of work to do. Javon goes.