Synopsis by Hal Erickson
A 12-year-old Harlem youth is killed in a hit-and-run. The driver, an elderly Jewish man named Joshua Berger (Michael Constantine), is not indicted. This is all it takes for outspoken (and blatantly bigoted) black activist Reverend Ott (Tony Todd) to foment racial tensions that explode in violence. The scenes involving Assistant D.A. Stone (Michael Moriarty) and black defense lawyer Shambala Green (Lorraine Toussaint) are among the most powerful ever seen on Law & Order; small wonder that "Sanctuary" was cited by TV Guide as one of television's best individual series episodes. As a bonus, actor J. K. Simmons, who later became a series semiregular in the role of police psychologist Dr. Emil Skoda, is here seen in an entirely different characterization.