David Simon on Baltimore’s Anguish....Why the Riots Happened



David Simon is Baltimore’s best-known chronicler of life on the hard
streets. He worked for The Baltimore Sun city desk for a dozen years,
wrote “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homicide:_A_Year_on_the_Killing_Street” (1991) and with former homicide detective en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Burns co-wrote “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Corner:_A_Year_in_the_Life_of_an_I”1
(1997), which Simon adapted into an HBO miniseries. He is the creator,
executive producer and head writer of the HBO television series “en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wire_%28TV_series%29” (2002–2008). Simon is a member of The Marshall Project’s advisory board. He spoke with Bill Keller on Tuesday.

BK: What do people outside the city need
to understand about what’s going on there — the death of Freddie Gray
and the response to it?

DS: I guess there's an awful lot to understand and
I’m not sure I understand all of it. The part that seems systemic and
connected is that the drug war — which Baltimore waged as aggressively
as any American city — was transforming in terms of police/community
relations, in terms of trust, particularly between the black community
and the police department. Probable cause was destroyed by the drug war.
It happened in stages, but even in the time that I was a police
reporter, which would have been the early 80s to the early 90s, the need
for police officers to address the basic rights of the people they were
policing in Baltimore was minimized. It was done almost as a plan by
the local government, by police commissioners and mayors, and it not
only made everybody in these poor communities vulnerable to the most
arbitrary behavior on the part of the police officers, it taught police
officers how not to distinguish in ways that they once did.


Article continued at this link- https://www.themarshallproject.org/2015/04/29/david-simon-on