Protests in Baltimore against the treatment of Freddie Gray, a black man who died while in police custody, have given way to reports of looting and violence.
David Simon, creator of the HBO series "The Wire," which was set in Baltimore, has posted a brief blog item calling on the looters to "go home."
"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," he writes. "Turn around. Go home. Please."
It's the first item he's posted on his blog since the Gray protests began earlier this month.
Here's his full post, which is simply titled "Baltimore." As of 9 p.m. eastern Monday, he was also responding to commenters further down in the post.
First things first.
Yes, there is a lot to be argued, debated, addressed. And this moment, as inevitable as it has sometimes seemed, can still, in the end, prove transformational, if not redemptive for our city. Changes are necessary and voices need to be heard. 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. Turn around. Go home. Please.
Rob covers business, economics and the environment for Fusion. He previously worked at Business Insider. He grew up in Chicago.