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Cleo Winston is a main character in the American crime drama, Law & Order: New Orleans.

Biography & Personality

Born in Los Angeles, California, in July 1986, Cleo Winston was raised in a first-class African-American family. Her twin sister Cara and her did everything together before taking separate career choices (Cleo in law enforcement, Cara in law). Winston moved to New Orleans shortly after graduation to be near her grandparents and joined the police academy.

Following graduation from the academy, she met Henry Cleary, also a police officer. The two married and had two children, Devon and Kelly. In her fifth year on the force, she became a detective and joined the NOPD's Vice Unit.

Cleo is a tenacious, hard-working detective. She is serious about her job and is at first mainly by the book. She does, however, learn that bending or even breaking the rules is sometimes needed to get justice, and soon embraces the notion after permanently joining the MCCIS. In the episode "Incarnate", she mentions her sister's a Democrat and that she herself is a Republican, and that she discerns a patient's right to refuse medication.

In the thirteenth season episode, "Die Easy", she first teams up with the MCCIS to bust a prostitution ring. She returns during the fourteenth season, temporarily transferring to the squad while chasing down the ringleaders of a drug operation, and later bringing Elena Ruiz, one of her Vice colleagues as well. The transfer later becomes permanent after Detective Kenton Frye is killed in the line of duty by the son of one of the ringleaders. Cleo helps avenge Frye by capturing the ringleaders and killing the son.

During the fifteenth season, Cleo is forced to confront Detective Raina Villalobos multiple times about her downward spiral (triggered by the murder of Frye, who was her best friend).


  • Service weapon: Smith & Wesson 4013