Parallelism and Collision Between Law Enforcement and Organized Crime

This week’s episodes, exhibiting the ideals of loyalty and betrayal, both serve as continuities in The Wires overarching theme of corruption within law enforcement and organized crime.

In the aftermath of Kima’s shooting we see that the only officers who are truly concerned with her wellbeing are those closest to her. We have seen the cliche story of the corrupt cop who let’s his desires in the moment destroy his judgement entirely. However, now we see another example of the struggles that are in place for the good cops on lower levels of hierarchy.
In the scene at the hospital, it is no longer about Kima and giving Barksdale maximum jail time. It is instead about how Commissioner Frazier can use this incident to make a public statement. Immediately after the shooting, the task force is ordered to use the evidence that they have to issue warrants and seize as much physical evidence as possible (drugs and money). Freeman tries to explain that this “Dope on the Table” strategy will hurt them in their grand plan and damage their entire operation. However, this is a political statement and it is no longer about the case itself.

In another matter of political pressure, Daniels is cornered by Burrell. He is encouraged to leave out important information in regards to the money because of how it may affect the politicians in the city.All of these issues are examples of the cracks in the hierarchy. The system is broken. Everyone is using the power that they have to their personal advantage and then expected to never “snitch” on others within. You are expected to support your colleagues because that is how it should be done. The cops on patrol abuse their power within the violence of their arrests and the commissioner abuses his power with his expectations of his Lieutenants.
McNulty addresses this issue. It rolls back around to the issues of insufficiently dedicated police officers. Everyone is more occupied with their next promotion than the lives of the people involved in their cases. In other words, as Lester Freeman stated, “You follow the drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But when you follow the money you don’t know where the fuck it’s going to take you.” Those occupied with their next promotion are too preoccupied with following the drugs to get drug busts, instead of following the money which would open up the opportunity to shine light on the roots of the drug problems in America.

There is direct parallelism in this example between Law Enforcement and the community within the Low Risers. In this city “the law enforcement acts as a criminal gang with legal guns and badges.” There is an atmosphere within both communities of self preservation. It is essential first to take care of yourself in whatever manner that entails. We see this directly through the killing of Wallace. Bodie is more concerned with his lateral promotion and less with his horizontal relationships. Bodie and Poot are Wallace’s closest friends so he could not even imagine that his life would be in danger with them. This made it transparent that in navigating “The Game” there is a thin line between companionship and occupational responsibilities. It is a job to them and the more you exhibit that you are willing to do, the better off you will be. To Bodie, this was his time to shine as “a smartass pawn”.

Just as Daniels is expected not to prosecute against the politicians, Wallace and Dee are expected to stand by Barksdale. Both systems are propelled by these ideas. The same aspects that keeps the drug business afloat Is what cripples law enforcement.
Overall, these episodes also show how intertangled the two communities are. As the drug business gets more sophisticated the corruption in the law enforcement follows. As we have seen, you cannot truly tackle one without taking down the other. This is why America has truly lost the War on Drugs. We attack the wrong subjects and continue to prosecute with the wrong motives. You need more than just the “drugs on the table”. You need the money trail and everything else that kept the operation afloat.

27 thoughts on “Parallelism and Collision Between Law Enforcement and Organized Crime

  1. Elizabeth Colantonio

    You bring up some fantastic insights for this week’s episodes, especially about the actions of law enforcement to make political statements rather than properly solve a case. Time and time again law enforcement has placed blame on individuals to please the minds of citizens. In some cases the blame is placed on minority groups and other times the blame is just thrown out to any suspect involved in the case. This phenomena reminds me of the Dominant hegemonic viewpoint discussed in our readings.. In addition to agreeing with your ideas of political statements, I strongly agree with the idea of self preservation that you bring up. As you stated, Wallace is a perfect example of a victim of self preservation in the drug game. Bodie is so concerned with climbing the ranks and pleasing Avon that he sets out to kill Wallace to look strong and devoted to the game in the eyes of Avon. What caught my attention the most during those scenes was when Wallace’s best friend grabbed the gun from Bodie and shot Wallace because Bodie hesitated. I wonder how this will effect Poot in the upcoming episodes. Will he fall into an unstable state like Wallace or will he stay immune to the emotional hardships in the drug game? Overall the episodes for this week bring out many issues both in the government and society. In the government we see the pressures to make political statements rather than solve a case, and in society we see the unhealthy actions of self preservation. When these two flaws collide, as we see in The Wire, they create a huge explosion that leaves all parties at a loss.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      I absolutely agree with your idea that Wallace is a victim of self preservation in the drug game. While Bodie’s character may be seen as interesting Poot is definitely one to watch. Even though Wallace was his best friend, I do believe that he will stay immune to the emotional hardships. It may take a while for him to adjust but I’m sure he eventually will. In my opinion, Poot didn’t stand out as much as Wallace and his innocence is long gone while Wallace still had better potential to get out the game. Additionally, even though Bodie hesitated I don’t think he will be affected as much as Poot because he wasn’t that close to Wallace. Bodie and Poot both have different understandings of the game and I’m almost certain next time Bodie is tasked with an assignment he won’t hesitate again.

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  2. Jamie Polak

    You make a solid argument in your first paragraph stating how after Kima’s shooting the response from Commissioner Frazier was to not take down Avon Barksdale (the person responsible for ordering the shooting), but instead to put “dope on the table” in order to publicize a political statement; consequently, completely disregarding the Barksdale case. Since you were using the scene at the hospital when Kima first arrives after the shooting, there was another 30 or so second interaction that, in my opinion, should have been something of note to everyone is our class. What happens is Lt. Daniels is talking to another lower ranking officer, who happens to be a white male, when another police comes over to give his apologies to Daniels for the situation of Kima. Yet, when the police comes over to give his apologies to the Lieutenant he speaks not to the actual Lt. (Daniels), but instead addresses the lower ranking officer as Lt. Daniels. He does this because he had assumed that the white male must be the acting Lieutenant, not the African American male who the white officer was in conversation with. This little encounter of no more than 30 seconds that Simon chooses to screen between the two white males and Lt. Daniels demonstrates the difficulties and challenges people of color have in the working world. It exhibits the sad reality of how people in contemporary America (mostly white people) contain the notion that African Americans cannot hold the same high level positional jobs that older, white males normally have.

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  3. Charles Bugg

    One of the key ideas illuminated in your response, was when you stated, “There is an atmosphere within both communities of self preservation”. I see this in every episode. Like you stated as well, both communities are extremely loyal to one another. Of course, the police will always be loyal to one another because there job is to protect people and enforce laws. They understand what everyone in their community goes through on the day to day. I think this last point is very prominent in both communities. In the Barksdale clan, they know what each other go through and have gone through in their lives. However, when I first started the series, I was a little surprised to see the amount of loyalty everyone in the Barksdale clan has. They all want what is right for their organization. The drug trade is their life just like policing is the life of McNulty, Greggs, and other law enforcement. While policing and the drug trade combat in every episode, and they are pretty much enemies, the police in The Wire need the drug trade. So, when you stated the thing about self preservation, it is also good to say that there is a need to preserve one another to an extent. No drug trade, no drug unit at the station. Good job this week I thoroughly enjoyed the read!

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      I also found the loyalty dynamic of the Barksdale crew interesting as well. While there is loyalty in the crew, most of the people are disposable and replaceable. I actually think Stringer is grooming Bodie to be like Wee-Bey or Stinkum. When he asked him to kill Wallace he called him soldier, which in the Barksdale crew is someone who essentially does the dirty work and isn’t afraid to defend the crew.

      Reply
  4. Amara

    Your post hits all the right points on this week’s episode. I am particularly interested in your point on self-preservation because I feel as though that is the center of this week’s episode. As you mentioned earlier, Bodie is only concerned with his self-preservation. Although he works with pooh to carry out the task, his primary concern is remaining a ‘smartass pawn’. Just like the judge only concerned in preserving his name, wanted to disassociate himself from the case and refused to help McNulty because it was election season. I think that we can argue to an extent that almost every character on the show is concerned with self-preservation.
    I also love how you touch on the concept of loyalty because I believe that is the most similar attribute shared by both parties. For example, Dee and Wallace are expected to stand by Avon no matter how they feel or what affects them. Just as Daniel’s is expected to remain loyal to the department despite the existence of corruption. At this stage in the series, loyalty becomes an issue for the characters. Daniel’s clearly fed up, informs his bosses that they would not be affected by his investigation if they are clean. Just like Dee loses his cool in front of Stringer when he finds out Wallace was killed.
    In the upcoming episodes, I would like to see how the characters handle their loyalty issues and whether or not they are punished for breaking the rules. I feel as though all the pressure that has been building up in both parties is finally about to crack something.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      I’m really enthralled by your statement about loyalty because I feel self preservation and loyalty go hand in hand. When working within a group of people it’s always important to think in terms of the group as a whole, but it’s also important to think how you as an individual is affected. In D’angelo’s opinion self preservation was worth more than his loyalty towards his uncle. He realized that his loyalty towards his uncle wasn’t worth losing his sanity. In D’angelo’s case, self preservation isn’t only about not getting in trouble and moving up the ranks, it’s mostly about not getting too deeply into the game. Wallace’s killing was definitely a breaking point for D’angelo and once he found out the loyalty for his uncle was out of the question.

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  5. Jamie Polak

    You make a solid argument in your first paragraph stating how after Kima’s shooting the response from Commissioner Frazier was to not take down Avon Barksdale (the person responsible for ordering the shooting), but instead to put “dope on the table” in order to publicize a political statement; consequently, completely disregarding the Barksdale case. Since you were using the scene at the hospital when Kima first arrives after the shooting, there was another 30 or so second interaction that, in my opinion, should have been something of note to everyone is our class. What happens is Lt. Daniels is talking to another lower ranking officer, who happens to be a white male, when another police comes over to give his apologies to Daniels for the situation of Kima. Yet, when the police comes over to give his apologies to the Lieutenant he speaks not to the actual Lt. (Daniels), but instead addresses the lower ranking officer as Lt. Daniels. He does this because he had assumed that the white male must be the acting Lieutenant, not the African American male who the white officer was in conversation with. This little encounter of no more than 30 seconds that Simon chooses to screen between the two white males and Lt. Daniels demonstrates the difficulties and challenges people of color have in the working world. It exhibits the sad reality of how people in contemporary America (mostly white people) contain the notion that African Americans cannot hold the same high level positional jobs that older, white males normally have.

    Reply
    1. Lauren Stenson Post author

      I definitely agree with your point about the view of African Americans in higher positions in America. I did notice that scene and I was sadly not surprise by it. This occurs a lot for all people of color in America. This idea goes back to the idea that I think we discussed in class about microaggressions. I feel as though these are the most common altercations that minorities encounter in America today. Some microaggressions such as this one are subliminal and possibly unintentional. This is why we need more people of all backgrounds in higher positions of power. Being a white male is not a qualification and should not be an expectation of what someone of power should look like. Yes thank you so much for adding that.

      Reply
  6. Joseph Angrick

    I love the fact that you brought up corruption in your blog for this week because I think that it is one of the main points throughout season 1. Corruption is devastating no matter it occurs, the financial world, in education, hospitals, but there is nothing worse than corruption the police force, because these are the people you should be able to trust with everything you have. Police are supposed to protect you and your community, so if they fail, who else can you trust. I was surprised to find out that Lieutenant Daniels had “dirt” on him because he seemed like a strong, well-respected, good policeman. I think this goes to show that people can change throughout there lives, because by the end of season 1 Daniels was challenging authority and trying hard to be “good”police. I want to see Herc and the other young police not fall into the trap of corruption and help change the bad stigma around corrupt cops. Everything can change eventually, but it all starts with people changing. I hope that Lieutenant Daniels and those working for him stay strong and attempt to fight corruption in the Baltimore City police force and government.

    Reply
  7. Joseph Angrick

    I love the fact that you brought up corruption in your blog for this week because I think that it is one of the main points throughout season 1. Corruption is devastating no matter it occurs, the financial world, in education, hospitals, but there is nothing worse than corruption the police force, because these are the people you should be able to trust with everything you have. Police are supposed to protect you and your community, so if they fail, who else can you trust. I was surprised to find out that Lieutenant Daniels had “dirt” on him because he seemed like a strong, well-respected, good policeman. I think this goes to show that people can change throughout there lives, because by the end of season 1 Daniels was challenging authority and trying hard to be “good”police. I want to see Herc and the other young police not fall into the trap of corruption and help change the bad stigma around corrupt cops. Everything can change eventually, but it all starts with people changing. I hope that Lieutenant Daniels and those working for him stay strong and attempt to fight corruption in the Baltimore City police force and government.

    Reply
    1. Lauren Stenson Post author

      I agree with everything that you said. We have definitely seen why people in the Baltimore area would have reason to not call on the police. There is corruption that cripples the purpose of the entire system. When people do not trust the police department they are forced to take matters into their own hands. That may not be what’s best for everyone but that is what happens when there are no other options. It relates to the comment from last week about whether or not someone would steal for their family. This thought process sheds light on the real problems behind law enforcement. Corrupt law enforcement is what propels crime and it a continuous cycle.

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  8. Caterina Erdas

    I really liked what you said about horizontal relationships versus lateral promotion. Danielas is also pressured by those who outrank him to stop the investigation into the politician. They dangle a promotion when he acts in accordance with the chain of command and threaten to give it to someone else when he does anything the superiors dislike. Danielas chooses to push a federal investigation against the politician, causing him to loss the promotion. He decided to follow the money and work with McNulty instead of listening to the chief.

    Bodie and Poot have very different reactions to killing Wallace. Like you said, Bodie was on board from the beginning, only able to see the job at hand and justifying it by blaming Wallace for being soft. Poot on the other hand is very conflicted and slowly complies with Bodie to save himself. Poot highlights the very humane internal struggle between self-preservation and friendship you talked about. He has to make that difficult decision in a matter of minutes.

    At the end of ep. 13, Stringer and Omar are still at large, running the drug industry and terrorizing the streets respectively. While Stringer’s drug business took a hit at the end of the season, the War on Drugs in Baltimore was not won. The case was closed, and the detectives went their separate ways, signifying closure, but Stringer and Omar’s scenes were completely open-ended. I am very excited to follow these two characters in season two.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      I think the open ended scenes of Stringer and Omar serves a symbol for the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is bigger than the actual drugs themselves. Avon being arrested doesn’t stop the Barksdale crew because the money is still flowing. Additionally, in relation to Poot and Bodie, being in the drug game is about making impulse decisions with long term consequences. So I’m interested to see how Bodie, Poot and others are affected by the death of Wallace.

      Reply
  9. Shira Greer

    I would agree that one can most definitely draw parallels between the culture of the police department and the culture of Barksdale’s crew. As you stated, both groups have a culture of self-preservation, which they are willing to defend at any cost. In my opinion, they view this culture as necessary in order to achieve their respective goals: for the police department, stopping criminals, and for Barksdale’s crew, selling as many drugs as possible. Any public breach of loyalty would be seen as being detrimental to reaching their goals, as it would fracture their unity, thus making them more susceptible to being taken down by the opposing group.

    Another parallel between the culture of the police department and the culture of Barksdale’s crew is their views on gay people. While some characters, such as Freamon and McNulty, are indifferent or accepting toward Kima and Omar, many of the characters are hostile, perpetuating society’s negative dominant-hegemonic view toward gay people. For example, in episode 2 Herc refers to Kima as a “stuck-up dyke bitch,” and in episode 9 Avon and Stringer refer to Omar as a “cocksuckin’ faggot.” The hateful language these characters discuss Kima and Omar illuminates their homophobia.

    However, despite the homophobia of many characters and their reinforcement of heterosexism, overall The Wire clearly takes an oppositional stance toward society’s negative dominant-hegemonic view toward gay people. This oppositional stance is demonstrated by how both Kima and Omar are characterized by being strong, capable, intelligent individuals who are unfazed by the heterosexism which runs rampant in their respective communities. By giving these characters such positive characteristics, The Wire subverts the traditional media stereotypes of gay people.

    Reply
    1. Lauren Stenson Post author

      Yes. Another place that we saw this arise was when Kima’s girlfriend was in the waiting room of the hospital. They never addressed her as Kima’s partner or girlfriend. When Daniel’s explained to Commissioner that Cheryl was Kima’s “roommate” the commissioner simply ignored her presence entirely. This show the ingenuity on another level.

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  10. Camryn Williams

    I really liked the points you brought up for this weeks episodes. I definitely saw the parallels between the police and the Barksdale organization in these episodes, as it is especially prevalent in regards to the desire to gain position and power. One point that you brought up that I found specially interesting was the corruption in the police department and the struggles of the lower level police officers. In many cases, much like that of the police department and the Barksdale organization, the lower you are within the organization, the less say you have in an event. Also dealing with corruption, sometimes it might not be best to put out a statement immediately, but if it is good for the ratings or if it puts them in front of a political scandal, that is what is going to happen. Everyone seems to be worried more about portrayal, rather than the well being of the person. In the end it is all about personal gains rather than group gains, which as you said before, is due to the cracks in the political system.
    Drawing on this, contrary to the statements above, I found that D’Angelo’s reaction to Wallace’s death shows that it isn’t always about personal gains, but rather the connections made through the system. D’Angelo refuses to believe that Wallace is dead, and when he finds out the truth, he does not want Levy to represent him. The emotions and reactions shown in the scene shows just how much he cares for Wallace.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      I disagree, I think when D’angelo found out about Wallace he made a choice for himself. Having Levy represent him is more of a gain for the Barksdale crew than a personal gain. If he loses the case and does prison time then he would gain personally because he’s been wanting a way out of the game and prison could be an outlet for him.

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  11. Cameron Keeley-Parker

    In regards to the parallelism between the Baltimore Police Department and Barksdale’s crew, I believe Episode 12 perfectly encapsulates this sentiment more than any other episode. As you mentioned earlier, both the Baltimore Police Department, Poot, and Bodie are forced to do tasks they preferred not to, whether it is acting on a case that’s not complete or killing Wallace. This episode is so memorable to me because David Simon incorporated the parallelism into the episode in two separate scenes that mirror each other. If you can recall, before Wallace was killed the boys walked up a set of stairs. Bodie followed Wallace up while Poot hesitated and remained at the bottom. Bodie noticed this and urges Poot to follow him with a head nod so they could kill Wallace like Stringer asked. Poot eventually gives up resisting and follows Bodie to help him commit the murder. Later on in the same episode the scene happens again except with Baltimore PD. The two police officers that we follow, McNulty and Daniels, are both forced to arrest Avon Barksdale even though they lacked enough evidence to keep him incarcerated or end his drug ring. In an exact mirroring of the previously discussed scene, Daniels leads a handcuffed Barksdale down a set of stairs toward a police car. While he is doing this, McNulty hesitates at the top of the stairs. He knows that there is more that should be done, whether its arresting Stringer or waiting for more evidence to properly convict Barksdale. However, just like Bodie, Daniels notices McNulty’s hesitation and urges him down the steps with a simple head nod. Both the police and the boys were forced to do something they much rather avoid, a fact Simon illustrated with the parallel scenes. Although the scenes mirrored each other, Simon also used symbolism in both to make them differ. Bodie and Poot go up the stairs, which could be a metaphor for their escalating involvement in the drug ring. On the other hand, Daniels and McNulty go down the stairs which could symbolize how their work on the Barksdale case is now headed down the drain since the current case against Barksdale is weak and will jeopardize all the evidence that they previously collected.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      Excellent point! I didn’t notice the symbolism of the stairs and the way Simon created the parallel between the Balt. PD and the Barksdale crew in this episode was ingenious. I think what’s similar between the two groups is that they both know that this is only the beginning. As more arrests and killings occur, the deeper the two groups get into the game.

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    2. enielson

      The stairs! Good. While I don’t want the details to overshadow the larger points Simon is making, I think it’s crucial to engage in this kind of close analysis because, as you note, the show is developing its narrative visually. In a show that deals with mobility–or even survival–inside large, complex organizations, stairs become an obvious way to depict characters’ figurative movement within those organizations.

      A very nice way to connect your observation to the broader themes.

      Reply
  12. A'Kayla Williams

    Your point on self- preservation stuck out the most to me especially as it pertained to the death of Wallace in episode #12. I expected Wallace to be a key character in not only in the rest of the season but also in the next 4 seasons of this series. While I did not expect Wallace to be killed I certainly did not expect him to be killed by his two “friends” Poot and Bodie. I strongly believed that it was unnecessary for Poot and Bodie to kill Wallace especially because how close they were or how close I thought they were. If anyone else killed Wallace I would not have felt so betrayed. David Simon purposely did that so I could take the death of Wallace harder and even personal. Bodie selfish and relentless act really showed how he only cares for himself regardless of the consequences. He takes self-preservation very seriously event to the extent of killing someone who he knew well. If he is okay with murdering someone who was once there with and for him it shows how he will take any measure to be that “smartass pawn.” I personally believe that he will only be that pawn and nothing higher. It’s a never ending climb to the top and the top is where Barksdale resides and it is even more evident that he will do anything to remain at that spot. So while Bodie continues to survive he still has to worry about himself just as much as the other men in the low rises. This reminded me of the the David Simon’s “There are no two Americas. My country is a horror show’ and his point on public health policy but mainly on the overall idea of the “every man for himself” mentality and how people who are worth less, the minority, is going to do anything to survive because that is all they know. So in since while I blame Bodie and Poot of being victims of self-preservation I also blame their environment. If they weren’t faced with this choice I believe that they wouldn’t have killed Wallace but instead had to make a choice based on an act of survival and power. I can’t wait to see how their characters further develop in the series.

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    1. Jordyn Lofton

      As I read more response on parallelism between the two groups, I realize that Bodie and Poot killed Wallace not only because they were told too but also because they were protecting him from the game that wasn’t meant for him in the first place. McNulty’s group and the Barksdale crew both had different ways of trying to protect Wallace but their goals was the same to get Wallace out the game for good. I also think Stringer felt this was the best option as well and he’s usually the logical one. Yes Wallace’s killing was an act of self preservation on Bodie’s end but I also feel there was protection for Wallace involved as well.

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  13. Brianna Charlton

    I liked that you spoke on the fact that there is a lot of parallelism between the Barksdale clan and the law enforcement in terms of ranking, loyalty and things like that. This was an extremely appropriate topic to address, especially since we are at the closing of our first season. To bring it back to one of the first readings that we did, Simon’s letter to HBO, this is exactly what Simon wanted us to talk about after watching the first season. He says “the journey through this one case will ultimately bring viewers from wondering… whether the bad guys will get caught to wondering instead who the bad guys are and whether catching them means anything at all” which I think goes really well the this post.
    It seems like even if they do bust the whole case, get Avon and send all the drug boys to prison, it doesn’t change the fact that the justice system is corrupt. People on both sides of the fence are so worried about their immediate needs (a job promotion, money, drugs) that they forget the overall purpose. The cops are supposed to be the people who fight for the people (if that makes sense) or the ones who defend the rights of the common man. And yet, they’re willing to throw entire cases away just to make themselves look good, and likewise for the Barksdale clan, they’re willing to throw away lifelong friendships for a chance to move up in the game. You can’t really blame them though, what else do they have? The people in this show are fighting for their livelihood. But I suppose thats the type of thoughts that Simon wants us to have, to blur the line between “good guys” and “bad guys” and to make them all just human. We get this when they show us emotion and their lives beyond the job for example, Bodie’s grandmother really wants him to get out of the game and despite this he still goes out to shoot Wallace, even though he wasnt the one that pulled the trigger. It gives the characters a certain depth that isnt common in other cop shows and it gives the viewers a bit more perspective on each situation. Overall I’ve thuroughly enjoyed the first season and I’m pumped for the second.

    Reply
    1. Jordyn Lofton

      You made a great point about the end results of busting the whole case. Once they get everyone involved in the Barksdale case then what’s next? Are the killings and drug deals supposed to end? Of course not, but the men that are in power at the Baltimore Police Department don’t care about the bigger picture they have tunnel vision. McNulty and his team saw more than drugs and killings they saw someone in the streets who had the same amount of power (or maybe even more) than the heads of the police department. You also made a great point about the blurred lines of “good guy” and “bad guy”. Simon shows the background lives of all the major characters no matter what side they’re on and this humanizes them and allows the audience to feel sympathy towards each character.

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  14. Arthur Worthington

    I thought that you made a great point when talking about the parallelism between the law enforcement and the community within the low risers. I agree with your point about self preservation and the importance both sides have on looking out for themselves. It seems that those who look out more for other people end up shot or dead like Kima and Wallace. Another instance of doing what’s best for yourself is revealed during McNulty’s conversation with the lieutenant, when he says that the only reason he wanted to take on the Barksdale case was to prove himself as a good detective. But another parallel between the police force and the community in the low risers I think is revenge. For example during the same conversation with Lieutenant Daniels and McNulty, Daniel’s says when referring to the case, “It meant damn near nothing to me, but now we got that woman in there, that good police breathing through a fucking tube because it meant something to her. And those shooters who dropped Kima they’re still in the wind. And whoever sent those motherfuckers out into that alley needs to get got too.” This kind of mindset and even language is something that I common among those in the Low Risers, a man who testified against DeAngelo ended up dead just for opening his mouth in court. I think the feeling of revenge and payback is also an important thing to acknowledge when discussing the parallels between the law and the people in the low risers. Thanks for sharing that article it was extremely interesting.

    Reply
  15. Avery Solsbak

    Spoilers for episode 13 are in this.

    I’m glad you brought up the idea of loyalty. Loyalty is a really important theme in this season. This is presented from the perspective of law enforcement and from the perspective of the Barksdale crew. From the side of the police, Major Rauls and later Deputy Burrell are the embodiment of the system. They constantly pull rank and for them, the chain of command is everything. Burrell even goes so far as to use Carver as a mole inside the Barksdale investigation. This is important because this brings up the problems of loyalty and corruption. Rauls actively tries to crush Mcnulty throughout the season and in the end, Mcnulty is sent to another division. Why? Because Mcnulty was insubordinate. Burrell is implied to be corrupt in many fashions as he tries to derail the Barksdale investigation at every chance to do so. On the other side of things, chain of command and loyalty is also everything to the Barksdale crew. Stringer suspected there was a snitch in the pit, so he made Dee stop paying the guys in the pit. He wanted to ensure their loyalty. Loyalty is immensely important within the organization. In fact, it’s the only thing that gives them power. When Dee snitched, Avon was taken down and the whole organization had to go into hiding. Parallelism is super important here. The Barksdale crew is a criminal organization, yet they really only had two snitches, Wallace and Dee. On the other hand, the police were riddled with corruption. The two organizations work in an extremely similar manner.

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