Law enforcement is an integral part of The Wire. The show has numerous characters in this field and their roles range from those enforcing the law at street level up to those setting laws city wide. The Baltimore City Police Department has been explored in detail from street level characters to the upper echelons of command. The show has also examined those setting laws in city politics and touched upon the FBI, the correctional system and the family of police officers.
The police department includes several of the show's starring characters and a wealth of supporting characters. It has been featured in all 5 seasons of the show to date.
Terrance "Fitz" FitzhughEdit
Main article: Terrance Fitzhugh
- Played by: Benay Berger
- Appears in: "Sentancing"; "Storm Warnings"; "Port in a Storm"; "Slapstick"; "Unconfirmed Reports; "Clarifications" and -30-.
Main article: Rupert Bond
Rupert Bond is a politically ambitious African American prosecuting attorney. In the fourth season he is campaigning against incumbent Steven Demper to become the Maryland State's Attorney for Baltimore City. Demper is supported by Mayor Royce. Bond maintains a lead against Demper throughout the campaign and is initially viewed with skepticism by Rhonda Pearlman. She claims that if Demper loses, the new front office will demote her because of her race in majority African American Baltimore. Royce and Demper both lose in the election, and Bond is elected State's Attorney. Bond promotes both Ilene Nathan and Pearlman whom he admires as good prosecutors. In a meeting with newly elected Mayor Tommy Carcetti, Bond is opposed to legalizing gambling in Baltimore due to the crime increase that comes with casinos.
In the fifth season Bond is focused on convicting corrupt Maryland State Senator Clay Davis. He convinces Carcetti to grant him a small police detail to pursue the case when the Major Crimes Unit is closed down due to funding cuts. Council President Nerese Campbell believes Bond is interested in the high profile conviction in order to raise his profile and believes Bond will contest her run to replace Carcetti as mayor of Baltimore. Carcetti backs Bond's desire to keep the case local out of fear that the Republican federal prosecutor will use the case to create a scandal for Carcetti's own Democratic Party. New developments in the Davis investigation provide an opportunity to take the case federal but Bond elects to ignore the potential for a new charge to keep the case as his own. Bond has Pearlman bring Davis in for a Grand Jury deposition and stages a photo opportunity as Davis leaves the courthouse. Clay Davis however turns the tables during the trial rallying Baltimore's African American community with the support of influential figures such as high profile attorney Billy Murphy and former mayor Clarence Royce. As Davis is called to the stand, he mockingly refers to Bond as "Prosecutor Obonda" (Most likely in reference to Barack Obama, who at the time of filming had only recently commenced his campaign for president and had not yet won any primaries) and charms the majority African American jury into believing that all of the questionable income he has allegedly collected has been sent back to help solve various community problems. Davis is then found not guilty, after which follows a celebration outside the courthouse to the shock of Bond and Pearlman.
- Played by: Toni Lewis
- Appears in:
Nadiva Bryant is an Assistant United States Attorney and works as the federal prosecutor for the team of FBI Agents led by Amanda Reese. She first appears when the Barksdale detail try to take their case federal in season one. She returns when the Sobotka detail case becomes a federal investigation.
- Played by: Doug Roberts
- Appears in:
- Season one: "Cleaning Up".
- Season three: "Dead Soldiers", "Mission Accomplished".
- Season four: "Home Rooms".
Demper is a Maryland State's Attorney, serving the district that includes Baltimore. He is the boss of Assistant State's Attorneys Rhonda Pearlman and Ilene Nathan. Demper is widely regarded as being more interested in preserving his elected position than pursuing justice. Pearlman falls out of his favor when a detail she is working with begins to investigate campaign donations made by drug dealers. He is later criticized by Ervin Burrell for refusing to chance a "whodunit" case as a means of helping the police department make convictions that stick. Delegate Odell Watkins is dissatisfied with Demper but Mayor Clarence Royce won't replace him due to his loyalty. In season four, Royce threatens to drop him from the party ticket if Demper does not go along with Royce's plans to interfere with the Carcetti campaign. Demper loses his bid for re-election to African American candidate Rupert Bond.
Main article: Ilene Nathan
Nathan is an Assistant State's Attorney in Baltimore and colleague of Rhonda Pearlman. Initially, she was the head of the violent crimes unit, tasked with prosecuting homicides in the city. As such, she convinced Wee-Bey Brice to plead guilty to multiple murders to avoid the death penalty, and was also present when Savino Bratton confessed to an (albeit minor) role in the shooting of Detective Greggs.
In season two, Nathan conducted the prosecution against "Bird" Hilton, reluctantly using Omar Little as a witness. Once Bird was found guilty, she promised Omar a free pass on any single minor charge in the future for his assistance. She appeared only briefly in season three, attending the wake of Detective Ray Cole. When Omar was framed for a murder and arrested in season four, he convinced Detective Bunk Moreland that he was innocent and Bunk in turn convinced Nathan to have Omar transferred to a safer prison. Nathan told Bunk that she now considered her debt to Omar repaid.
Later in season four, Nathan helped Detectives Greggs and Norris investigate the Braddock murder case. She also attended the wake of CID and homicide unit commander Raymond Foerster. When Rupert Bond was elected State's attorney he promoted Nathan to second deputy State's Attorney and Pearlman took over her role in the violent crimes unit.
Main article: Rhonda Pearlman
Assistant Maryland State's Attorney Pearlman has been the legal system liaison for all the major investigations on the show.
Main article: Daniel Phelan
Judge Phelan is a friend of Detective Jimmy McNulty's who presides over the D'Angelo Barksdale murder trial, watching the jury give a not guilty verdict when a witness changes her statement. After he learns the witness was paid off (and possibly intimidated), and that D'Angelo is part of a much larger drug dealing operation, Phelan insists that Police Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell set up a detail to investigate. When Phelan speaks to the press about the murder of another witness from the trial, McNulty feels that Phelan has gone behind his back, souring their relationship for a time.
Over the course of the investigation, he remains willing to sign court documents authorizing wiretaps. When Phelan realizes his actions have cost him political capital, his passion for the case wanes. Assistant States Attorney Rhonda Pearlman uses Phelan's obvious attraction to her to keep him interested in the case.
Phelan reconciles with McNulty in Season three when the judge authorizes a wiretap on Russell "Stringer" Bell's cell phone.
Main article: Gary DiPasquale
Gary DiPasquale is an Assistant State's Attorney and serves as the Grand Jury Prosecutor. DiPasquale is an associate of Bunk Moreland who assists the police in various Homicide cases. The Grand Jury first appear in an unsuccessful summons of Frank Sobotka's union in connection with the investigation of the deaths of thirteen Jane Does found DOA in a shipping container. DiPasquale then appears in Season 4 involving a summons of Old Face Andre with a perjury threat and with a court order to obtain DNA evidence from Stanfield Organization enforcers "Snoop" Pearson and Chris Partlow. In Season 5, DiPasquale is prominent in obtaining depositions for the Clay Davis trial.
DiPasquale is later revealed to be responsible for selling sealed grand jury indictments to defense attorneys including Maurice Levy. Detective Lester Freamon concludes that DiPasquale is selling the indictments because amongst those working in the courthouse, DiPasquale's finances show that he took out a third mortgage on his home and has annual gambling losses that are more than three times his salary. Freamon convinces DiPasquale to cooperate as an informant, and has DiPasquale incriminate Levy in a single party consent telephone conversation. DiPasquale's actions are later covered up as part of a deal between Levy and prosecutor Rhonda Pearlman on charges against the Stanfield Organization.
The character is played by the series technical advisor Gary D'Addario, the shift lieutenant for the Baltimore Police Department's Homicide Unit featured in David Simon's Homicide: A Year on the Killing Streets book.
Main article: Politics
Main article: Dwight Tilghman