Stern, not adverse to being forceful with her detectives,
even yelling at them or threatening them. Intolerant of roughing up suspects
or trampling on their rights. [Episode 114, "Savages"
(10/18/95) and worries about Green using excessive force; reprimands Curtis
for letting a suspect’s father use force on him. Episode 130, "Slave"
Intolerant of anything remotely resembling perjury, e.g.
"You were an inch away from perjury! … One of my detectives lying under
oath is enough!" Episode 175, "Stalker"
Can be very tough and suspicious with women suspects or witnesses.
Often plays a tough "mom." Episode 102,"Performance"
(2/8/95); Episode 137, "Good
Girl" (10/7/96), Episode 178, "Bad
Can be sarcastic with her detectives, especially when she
feels they aren't doing their jobs [Episode 118, "Humiliation"
(11/22/95), or aren't taking their jobs seriously, Episode 122, "Corpus
Takes part in interrogations and stakeouts. Episode 130,
(4/21/96), Episode 158, "Thrill"
(9/24/97), Episode 116, "Hot
Worked in Narcotics before moving to Homicide. Episode 67,
Was promoted to her rank because of a case that later turned
out to have been mishandled. The men convicted of the crime were innocent,
but were convicted on evidence that was found out to have been fudged by
the fingerprint expert, Episode 260, "Myth
of Fingerprints" (11/14/01)
Was denied a promotion, which went to a white woman with
the same qualifications. Sued the department for discrimination and had
a very hard time professionally.* Her detectives were put to work doing
menial tasks [Episode 177, "Burden"
(4/24/98)], her precinct denied manpower [Episode 181, "Monster"
(5/20/98), Episode 179, "Damaged"
(5/6/98)], eventually she was told she would need to resign if she didn’t
want her precinct to suffer, Episode 181, "Monster"
Has had two children, probably both delivered vaginally since
she says, "I've been through two births. I remember every push and squeeze.
I'll tell you what -- passing out is the impossible dream." Episode 79,
Declares that there are "…Two kinds of women in this world:
Those who have breast cancer and those who are scared to death of getting
it. Articles you skip on the way to the sports page, I cut out and keep
in a drawer next to my bed." Episode 89, "Second
Childhood Events/Family Issues
From Brooklyn. Episode 70, "Profile"
Married to Don Van Buren, with two children, Stefan and Rick.
Episode 94, "Competence"
Husband owns a hardware store. *
Once shot at a mugger in an ATM and killed him when he tried
to get money from her, as her children waited in a car outside. Another
mugger was in the vicinity. Episode 94, "Competence"
One child was accused of some kind of petty crime, possibly
tagging a car. *
One of her children was eight in 1994. Episode 92, "Family
Has at least one sister who couldn't have a baby although
they tried for years. Episode 187, "Scrambled"
Formerly friends with fingerprint expert Lisa Russo.
Episode 260, "Myth
of Fingerprints" (11/14/01)
"My college's idea of sex and literature
was Jane Eyre." Episode 117, "Paranoia"
"A black kid doing a school shooting like this just doesn't
fit the profile. Drugs, sneakers, gangs--that I'll buy. But a black kid
shooting up a lunchroom....". Episode 251, “School
"I used to hear the whispers in the chatter behind my back.
'She got it 'cause she's black. She got it 'cause she's a woman.' And I
never listened to that crap because I knew I had earned it. Episode
of Fingerprints" (11/14/01)
Affirmative action: Conflicted on it. Doesn't believe she
got there because of it, but her lawsuit and others say otherwise (Abbie
Carmichael: "I'd like to think I got where I am based on merit." Van Buren:
"So would I, but I've got 2000 pages of legal documents to prove the contrary.")
Episode 203, "Admissions"
Seems a bit ambivalent about the death penalty. Is not among
the group of Lennie Briscoe, Rey Curtis, Claire Kincaid and Jack McCoy
when they witness an execution. Later, she says, "You know, Claire, if
I thought I could get some kind of divine guidance by watching them run
poison through that bum's veins, I woulda made the trip."... "A crowd
of people stood and cheered when he raped her. They were supposedly good
people, and they did absolutely nothing. Then he beat her to death with
a tire iron, and today, the state of New York got its revenge. It's not
enough, and it's too much." Episode 134, "Aftershock"
Knows a little bit about poetry – recognizes Langston Hughes
when Lennie quotes it. Episode 130, "Slave"
Knows a bit about fashion or at least makes jokes about it.
"I'm no Donna Karan, but I know the right fashion for solemn occasions."
Episode 115, "Jeopardy"
(11/1/95), "When you do find the girls, I want you to add a charge of felony
bad taste -- wearing white after Labor Day.". Episode 231, "Turnstile
Justice" (10/25/00), "Make sure you have some basic black to change
into." Episode 245, "Bronx
Cognizant of tabloid newspaper contents, to her detectives'
amusement. Claims she only reads them in the checkout lines. Episode 180,
Knows a fair bit about her children's computer games, and
is able to converse knowledgably about them with Curtis, much to Briscoe's
confusion. Episode 141, "Deadbeat"
Catch Phrases/Personal Quirks
Can be crude. "With women, it's not just 'Didja jam it to
some stray.' " Episode 201, "Empire"
(5/5/99) "When a guy's getting his knob polished, he'll do anything." Episode
Mom" (2/26/97). "Put them back in your pants, gentlemen. There's enough
work to go around." Episode 125, "Custody"
"I don't need to play slap-and-tickle with the US Attorney. The only leak
you should be concerned about is the one to the press if you don't cooperate."
"I'm not into all this piss-and-mark-your-territory crap." Episode 172,
a Faccia" (2/25/98)
Pokes fun at superiors (e.g. "I'm sorry, I'm late for my
daily spanking at One Police Plaza.") Episode 235, "Burn,
Baby, Burn" (11/25/00) and police procedures (eg. Green: "I switched
my major twice in college. That make me a terrorist?" Van Buren "No, but
you don't fit the profile. The dirty little secret of law enforcement.")
Episode 277, "Patriot"