David Simon, creator of HBO’s “The Wire,” has spoken out on today’s violence in Baltimore. Taking to his preferred method of public communication, Simon posted to his blog today that this moment of boiled over violence and mayhem may seem to have been inevitable, but is “an affront” to the memory of Freddie Gray, the man in whose name the protests are happening:
Yes, there is a lot to be argued, debated, addressed. And this moment, as inevitable as it has sometimes seemed, can still, in the end, prove transformational, if not redemptive for our city. Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard. All of that is true and all of that is still possible, despite what is now loose in the streets.
But now — in this moment — 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 of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.
If you can’t seek redress and demand reform without a brick in your hand, you risk losing this moment for all of us in Baltimore. Turn around. Go home. Please.
“The Wire,” filmed and based in Charm City, is widely hailed as the greatest television series ever produced and has had a tremendous impact on the national conversation regarding race, poverty, and criminal justice. Simon, a D.C. native, worked the police beat for the Baltimore Sun from 1982 to 1995 and his wisdom and insight are frequently sought out regarding Baltimore-related issues.