The Practice
Blowing Smoke

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Blowing Smoke

We're back in the courtroom where Helen "Stone Cold" Gamble is examining Mr. Kufo, the owner of the store where Cop Armstrong shot the kid. The store owner explains that the kid looked about seventeen, and he entered the store, and just as the store owner turned to get a better look at this customer, Cop Armstrong busted into the store yelling, "Freeze!" Helen walks toward the witness box: "What happened next?" Mr. Kufo explains that he thought he was about to be robbed and began to reach under the counter for his pistol. It was at that instant that Cop Armstrong opened fire. Stone Cold asks, "Mr. Kufo, did you know that Mr. Armstrong was a police officer when he entered the store?" "No." Stone Cold hammers her point home: "Did he ever identify himself as a police officer?" "No," he responds. Helen takes a step back, takes a good look at the jury, and then asks whether Will Bradley, the victim, ever made a move toward the shopkeeper or the defendant before Cop Armstrong blew him away. The shopkeeper maintains that the victim didn't have a gun. Stone Cold takes a good, long look at Cop Armstrong and his merry band of lawyers, thanks the witness, and walks back to her table. Rebecca is on her feet for the cross, and she opens by asking Mr. Kufo about what he was looking at when the shooting occurred, going about establishing reasonable doubt (and here we're all surprised that she doesn't examine the poor fellow to death or bring to light some evil sexual fantasy to discredit him, but I digress). The shopkeeper keeps insisting that he didn't see the gun. Hey, maybe he didn't SEE the gun. We get it.

An outside panning shot of some buildings in Boston that ends up focusing on a large brass teapot. Some very sad, melodramatic music is playing as we see Rebecca, Cop Armstrong, and Ellenor enter a client room in the courthouse. They don't look very happy. Ellenor closes the door and begins to summarize what's happening in legal talk for the defendant. In her professional opinion, the shopkeeper has irrevocably hurt their case. "Why?" Cop Armstrong asks. Essentially, the shopkeeper should have corroborated Cop Armstrong's story independently -- that is, said that he felt he was about to be robbed. But Mr. Kufo only thought there was a crime happening because the cop came barreling into his store. Ellenor goes on to say that the defense has "nothing to validate" his suspicion that there was a crime taking place. Cop Armstrong is indignant -- again -- and starts yammering on about how he's spent nine years on the force and his instincts told him a crime was about to be committed, and if he hadn't saved the day, well, we don't know what might have happened. Ellenor keeps at him, stating that it's a problem that the shopkeeper didn't see the gun in the victim's hand. "What are you, the DA?" Cop Armstrong accuses Ellenor. "No," she responds. "I am your lawyer, trying to make you understand the severity of the charges." Again, Cop Armstrong states that he's not going to go to jail for doing his job. Well, that remains to be seen, doesn't it?

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The Practice

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