David Simon, who created the seminal police drama The Wire, called for the outbreak of violence in Baltimore to stop on Monday, as one of the show’s former stars criticized what she described as the police violence that helped escalate the situation.
“Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard,” Simon wrote on his blog. “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.”
As Reuters reported, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency in the city after police clashed with protesters late Monday afternoon, just after the funeral for Freddie Gray.
Gray’s death in police custody earlier this month sparked multiple demonstrations, with residents calling for murder charges against the officers who arrested him.
“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,” Simon wrote. “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.”
CNN reported that more than two dozen people had been arrested, while 15 officers were injured. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has issued a 10 p.m. curfew for the city starting on Tuesday night.
Simon’s show, which was set in Baltimore, earned critical acclaim for its depiction of the relationships between law enforcement and members of local gangs. His post on Monday came shortly after one of his show’s stars, Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, told CNN’s Brooke Baldwin that she knew Gray, and rejected allegations that Gray escalated his encounter with police by running away from them.
“I probably would have took off, too — there’s no win with them,” Pearson said, adding, “If you stand there, they’re gonna say whatever they want to say. And whatever the police say, you’re gonna believe it, because they have the badge.”
Pearson, who said the city has “corrupt” officers in its midst, argued that Gray probably had good cause to try to avoid authorities on the night of his death.
“All we want to know is, how’d he get his spinal cord broke?” she said.
Pearson’s interview with CNN, as posted online, can be seen below.