Tuesday, March 15, 2011


You may have heard that Felicia Pearson, the infamous Snoop on The Wire, was arrested as part of a major drug raid last week in Baltimore. And so life mirrors art that mirrored life. Snoop was one of the most authentic Baltimorians on the show and definitely took the prize for being the most bad ass bitch on the show.

Here is a clip of her buying a nail gun that will come in handy when killing people.

The Wire
was one of the most truthful and unapologetic shows to ever grace the television waves and with the most complicated and complex plot lines known to man. Felicia Pearson, Snoop, was born to to incarcerated drug dealers, worked as a drug dealer herself, and spent 6.5 years in prison for second degree murder. However, the death of a friend and her work on The Wire turned her life around and she had been pursuing acting, music, and philanthropy since then. Along with Jamie Hector (Marlo Stanfield) she started Moving Mountains, a youth drama organization that aims to curb violence by providing an alternative in the performing arts for at risk kids.

The Wire's creator David Simon released a pretty great statement about not just Felicia's arrest but the cycle of poverty and drug trade that has such a larger context than this one arrest.

First of all, Felicia’s entitled to the presumption of innocence. And I would note that a previous, but recent drug arrest that targeted her was later found to be unwarranted and the charges were dropped. Nonetheless, I’m certainly sad at the news today. This young lady has, from her earliest moments, had one of the hardest lives imaginable. And whatever good fortune came from her role in The Wire seems, in retrospect, limited to that project. She worked hard as an actor and was entirely professional, but the entertainment industry as a whole does not offer a great many roles for those who can portray people from the other America. There are, in fact, relatively few stories told about the other America.

Beyond that, I am waiting to see whether the charges against Felicia relate to heroin or marijuana. Obviously, the former would be, to my mind, a far more serious matter. And further, I am waiting to see if the charges or statement of facts offered by the government reflect any involvement with acts of violence, which would of course be of much greater concern.

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. The opportunities and experiences of her life do not correspond in any way with my own, and her America is different from my own. I am therefore ill-equipped to be her judge in this matter.

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