David Simon, creator of The Wire, the HBO show that chronicled the story of Baltimore’s police department and its gangs, has appealed for calm in the wake of violence following the funeral Monday of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died April 19 after he suffered a serious spine injury while in police custody.
In a blog post on his website, Simon wrote that while there is much to be “argued, debated, addressed … this moment … can still, in the end, “prove transformational, if not redemptive for our city.” He added:
“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 [diminution] 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.”
Simon, a former reporter for the Baltimore Sun, is also known for his NBC police procedural Homicide: Life on the Street. The show was based on his book, Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets, which described the time he spent with officers in the Baltimore Police Department’s homicide unit.
Simon has previously been outspoken about what he views as the inequities of the nation’s criminal justice system.