A Morgan State University professor appearing on MSNBC Monday used the Baltimore-based television show The Wire as an explanation behind unfair police tactics.
Lawrence Brown appeared in a lengthy segment with host Tamron Hall shortly after it was announced that a police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, Officer Edward Nero, was found not guilty of all charges.
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Hall and Brown were talking about police culture in Baltimore and other cities and how it affects most African Americans. Brown said most of the policeman in Baltimore City were not residents of the areas they patrolled.
"But that's not unique to Baltimore. That's a conversation that's being had around this country," Hall said. "That is not an exclusive issue facing Baltimore."
"But that is a part of police culture," Brown said. "For instance, if you watch The Wire, you see officers go into a community and when they hurt a boy in the eye, the residents in the show begin to throw something at the police. "So officers who view that show before they begin to police here in Baltimore, they're looking at something and they're saying, ‘Wait a minute, those people are our enemies.’"
The scene referenced by Brown appeared to be a Season 1 episode where Officer Roland Pryzbylewski pistol-whips a teenager, blinding him in one eye. Local residents then shower Pryzbylewski and his fellow partners with debris, leading to a firefight.
It is unclear how many Baltimore police officers have viewed the acclaimed HBO series.