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You've always crossed the street every time a couple of hip-hopping ghetto boys walk toward you, but now, every time a n****r in a two thousand dollar suit sits next to you at lunch, you'll clinch your fist a little tighter, breathe just a little bit deeper. If nothing else, now the world knows that he's just as angry, and just as likely to explode.
~ Bud Greer antagonizing Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy,

Benjamin "Bud" Greer is the main antagonist of the Law & Order episode "Rage". He is a Black stockbroker who swindles his firm and murders his boss, and tries to use "black rage" as a trial defense.

He was portrayed by Courtney B. Vance.

Biography

Early life

Greer grew up poor in New York City. As a young man, he went to Harvard on an academic scholarship and then Stanford Business School, and distinguished himself by graduating summa cum laude and magna cum laude, respectively. After graduation, he became a stockbroker at the Wall Street investment firm Benjamin Brothers, but was fired after five years for failing to generate profits. He also got into a fistfight with a disgruntled client, and was briefly charged with assault.

He then got a job at the investment bank Jenkins, Clay & Co., becoming the first and only Black trader at the firm. He was incredibly successful in this job, booking hundreds of millions of dollars in stock trades and becoming the protégé of the company's CEO, Wallace Holbrook. Despite his success, however, he treated his fellow traders with contempt, considering himself above them, as he was just as abusive to his black secretary and chauffeur, looking down on them and treating them like servants.

Unbeknownst to his boss and colleagues, however, Greer's success was based on a lie, as he in fact used accounting tricks to create records of trades that never actually took place, bilking the firm out of millions. The firm's auditors eventually uncovered Greer's fraud, and Holbrook confronted him in his house. To keep his secret, Greer broke Holbrook's neck and then shot him in the face with a shotgun to make it look like he committed suicide.

"Rage"

When NYPD detectives Lennie Briscoe and Mike Logan question Greer about Holbrook's death, he lies about where he was that night. When they find out about Greer's phantom trades, they interrogate him, believing that he killed Holbrook to cover up his fraud. Greer's motive, plus his fingerprints in Holbrook's bathroom, give Briscoe and Logan enough probable cause to arrest him.

Greer's lawyer manages to get the financial records of Greer's fraud thrown out of the case, but Assistant District Attorney Jack McCoy persuades the trial judge to include them back in. Facing likely conviction on the facts of the case, Greer and his lawyers change their strategy to a "black rage" defense, arguing that he snapped and killed Holbrook after enduring a lifetime of racist discrimination and abuse.

During the trial, the defense calls expert witnesses who argue that Greer is the product of a racist society, while Greer himself says that Holbrook had mocked him with racist insults before he killed him, an act he claims that he cannot remember committing. Fearing an acquittal, District Attorney Adam Schiff tells McCoy and his assistant, Claire Kincaid, to cut a deal with Greer. They reluctantly offer Greer the chance to plead to manslaughter instead of murder, but Greer refuses, claiming that the jury will believe that he was justified in his actions. When the jury arrives at a verdict, however, Greer is stunned and dismayed when they pronounce him guilty of second-degree murder.

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