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‘The Wire’ Creator and Cast Call for End to Baltimore Riots

The cast and creator of HBO’s Baltimore-set police series The Wire called for an immediate end to the violent protests that had erupted in Baltimore on Saturday night.

In a post on his website, David Simon, who worked as a crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun before writing HBO’s groundbreaking Maryland-set series, urged the protesters with rocks and bricks in their hands to “go home.”

“Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard,” Simon wrote. “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,” Simon concluded. “Turn around. Go home. Please.”

Meanwhile, actor Andre Royo, who plays Bubbles in the series, called for “Discipline, not Destruction” in a tweet on Monday afternoon:

Wendell Pierce, who played cigar-chomping Baltimore cop Bunk Moreland, called those violently demonstrating in the streets “criminals, not protesters.”

Violent riots started on Saturday and continued in Baltimore Monday after the funeral of Freddie Gray, who died on April 19 of a spinal injury while in police custody. Gov. Larry Hogan has called in the National Guard and instituted a citywide week-long curfew in an attempt to quell the violence.

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