Television critics have lauded The Wire as one of the best crime dramas ever made because of the HBO show's ability capture the gritty reality and social politics driving Baltimore's streets. But recent violence in has recast the Maryland city into a dark light. When the city found itself burning Monday after peaceful protests erupted into violence and looting, stars and the creator of The Wire spoke out against the Baltimore riots.
Perhaps the most poignant voice came from The Wire creator David Simon, a former Baltimore Sun reporter who spent more than a decade covering cops and crime in the area. On his blog, Simon said Baltimore, which had been on a path of redemption from its reputation as one of the most dangerous cities in the country, needed more change. But rioters who chose to turn to violence "risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore." He asked for those with a "brick in your hand" to "turn around" and "go home."
The anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease. There was real power and potential in the peaceful protests that spoke in Mr. Gray’s name initially, and there was real unity at his homegoing today. But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a dimunition [sic] of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.
Andre Royo, who starred as recovering heroin addict Reginald "Bubbles" Cousins, asked rioters to remain peaceful.
Wendell Pierce, who played Det. William "Bunk" Moreland, called rioters "criminals" who were not the peaceful protesters that walked the streets of Baltimore following Gray's death.
Felicia Pearson, whose drug soldier character carried the same name, Felicia "Snoop" Pearson, took to Instagram to show her thoughts were with her native city of Baltimore.
Riots began Monday afternoon after the funeral of 25-year-old black man Freddie Gray, who sustained a major spinal injury while in police custody on April 12. Gray died a week later, and there has been little information disclosed on how his injuries came about. The Department of Justice is currently investigating the Baltimore City Police Department's role in Gray's death.