Police Story (1973–1987)
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The Empty Weapon 

On his first day out of the academy, Officer David Singer fails to fire his weapon when a juvenile delinquent he is pursuing pulls a gun on him, with tragic consequences later.


Michael O'Herlihy


Joseph Wambaugh (creator), Sean Baine | 1 more credit »


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Kurt Russell ... Officer David Singer
Tim O'Connor ... Captain Lou Richards
Glenn Corbett ... Sergeant Bill Riley
Andrew Stevens ... Danny Boy
Audrey Totter ... Judge (as Audrey Totter)
Edd Byrnes ... Sergeant Dole
Danny Bonaduce ... Joey
Heather Angel ... Mrs. Anderson
Clu Gulager ... Officer Williams
Ken Lynch ... Officer Chick Macey
Michael O'Keefe ... Officer Tolivar
Sean Kelly Sean Kelly ... Ralph
Michael Durrell ... P.D. DeLong
Gordon De Vol Gordon De Vol ... D.A. Nichols
Bill Quinn ... Andrews


On his first day out of the academy, Officer David Singer fails to fire his weapon when a juvenile delinquent he is pursuing pulls a gun on him, with tragic consequences later.

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Release Date:

21 November 1975 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Actors that played past and future old west lawmen: Williams was played by Clu Gulager, who played Sheriff Emmett Ryker for 4 seasons on The Virginian (1962). Singer was played by Kurt Russell, who would go on to play iconic lawman Wyatt Earp in Tombstone (1993). See more »

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User Reviews

Is this at all realistic? I'm not so sure...
5 September 2019 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

Officer Singer is a brand new policeman (Kurt Russell) is out on his first day. And, it happens to be a horrible day, as his training officer is murdered by a young punk (Andrew Stevens) who appeared to do it for kicks. Soon, Singer apprehends all three of the teens...including the shooter. However, his fellow cops are NOT happy, Singer could have easily just shot the kid but figured the boy fired all six shots and couldn't hurt him...and they wish he'd just shot the guy. Soon you can see why they feel that way, as the case is handled in Juvenile Court and the judge essentially feels sorry for the monster.

Now Singer has a new training officer...and Officer Williams is a tough guy who plays by the rules of the street. That might include beating up a junkie and twisting the law 'as needed' to rid the community of scum. Soon Williams is angry, as once again Singer uses his brains instead of just shooting the drug dealer.

As for the murderous teen (Andrew Stevens), he's a horrible inmate in juvenile detention and is essentially rewarded for this and sent home....even though he killed a cop and was very destructive when he was incarcerated.

What's to become of Singer? After all, though he's following the books carefully, he's hated because he isn't trigger-happy. And, what of the crazed teen who seems to have learned nothing...apart from the joy of killing cops?!

Overall, this is a very scary qnd frustrating episode to watch. I have no way of knowing, but the shooter looked to be at least 16-17 and I wonder how common it was to kick a case like this to Juvenile Court instead of charging him as an adult since he allegedly murdered a cop. I also am unsure how realistic the case is, as he only received three months in lockup and was anything but a model inmate. Well worth seeing...just not sure how realistic the story was.

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