Earlier today, The Wire’s Felicia “Snoop” Pearson — a non-actor cast on the show after Michael K. Williams met her at a Baltimore bar just as she’d gotten out of prison for an attempted-murder charge — was arrested on drug charges. Slate contacted David Simon to see if he had anything to say about the unfortunate incident. Surprise, surprise: He did.
Simon defends Pearson, reminding everyone to wait and see on both the actual charges and the circumstances of the arrest. Then he takes the opportunity to shake off his tried-and-true rallying cry. Here we go:
In an essay published two years ago in Time magazine, the writers of The Wire made the argument that we believe the war on drugs has devolved into a war on the underclass, that in places like West and East Baltimore, where the drug economy is now the only factory still hiring and where the educational system is so crippled that the vast majority of children are trained only for the corners, a legal campaign to imprison our most vulnerable and damaged citizens is little more than amoral. And we said then that if asked to serve on any jury considering a non-violent drug offense, we would move to nullify that jury’s verdict and vote to acquit. Regardless of the defendant, I still believe such a course of action would be just in any case in which drug offenses — absent proof of violent acts — are alleged.
Both our Constitution and our common law guarantee that we will be judged by our peers. But in truth, there are now two Americas, politically and economically distinct. I, for one, do not qualify as a peer to Felicia Pearson.
Read the whole statement over at Slate.