David Simon, the creator of HBO’s legendary crime series The Wire, called for peace on the streets of Baltimore on Monday evening, describing the unfolding violence and destruction that has engulfed portions of the city as an “affront” to the memory of Freddie Gray and a “dimunition of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death.” Here’s a larger snippet from his personal blog:
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.
Simon’s voice is, of course, only one in a chorus calling for an end to the rioting and looting that broke out following an afternoon funeral service for Gray, the 25-year-old black man who died while in police custody nine days ago. But his comments carry a little more weight given his strong ties to the city—he was a longtime crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun before going on to HBO fame—and his previous critiques of the city’s police force and how it does business. “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,” Simon wrote. “Turn around. Go home. Please.”