The Wire – The Detail

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Scene opens with detectives Moreland and McNulty staring at a dead body in the Baltimore morgue.


[McNulty]
That's the witness all right, the one from the Barksdale case.

[Frazier]
Gant, William. 41 years. Single headshot, close range. Bullet pancaked on the inner skull.

[Bunk]
Ain't necessarily what it looks like.

[McNulty]
No?

[Bunk]
A man's walking down a street in West Baltimore. That'll catch you a bullet for a half-dozen reasons.

[McNulty]
Yeah, that it will. You run him for a sheet?

[Bunk]
Yeah, a couple of disorderlies is all. Guy works maintenance down at Poe Homes. Lives alone, no wife, no kids. Only time his name pops up on the courthouse computer is for being a state witness in Barlow's case. Otherwise, I don't even make that connection. I mean, you've got to admit it don't make sense to ace this motherfucker after he done testified.

[McNulty]
Sends a hell of a message though. He's one hardheaded fuck in the Terrace you can't run off or buy out, right? If your audience is the high-rise projects, a move like this cuts right through the shit. What are you gonna tell the major?

[Bunk]
That I caught a stone fucking whodunit.


[McNulty]
Don't soft-sell the witness angle. Come on.


[Bunk]
Why get the bosses riled before we know for sure? If I start talking shit that a witness got killed--


[McNulty]
Bunk, tell him.

[Bunk]
Why?

[McNulty]
Just cover yourself on this.

[Bunk]
Jimmy, you ain't gonna do what I think? Listen to me. This shit is gonna jump up and bite you in your ass.

[McNulty]
Just cover yourself.

[Frazier]
What the hell was that about?

[Bunk]
Nothing.


Lt. Daniels and his newly formed Barksdale detail arrive at their operation headquarters: a dark basement under the city's Court building.


[Carver]
Jesus Christ.

[Griggs]
Goddamn. Who do you got to fuck in this town to get a real office?

*Phone rings..*

[Herc]
At least that works.


[Santangelo]
*Hangs up phone..** It was for McNulty.


[McNulty]
I shouldn't be here.


[Judge Phelan]
Then you shouldn't.


[McNulty]
They killed a fucking witness out of your court.

[Judge Phelan]
Yeah, you told me. You did your civic duty. Under the power vested in me by the circuit court for Baltimore city I absolve you of all your sins, Detective McNulty.

[McNulty]
You are my sin, you know that? For talking to you, my major is ready to cut my throat.

[Judge Phelan]
Jimmy, you knew I was gonna make that call. Admit it.


[McNulty]
I didn't think you would straight-up hang me out on the line in a shitstorm.

[Judge Phelan]
Look, it's not like it was when I was a prosecutor. I'm a judge now, the rules are different.

[McNulty]
You missed a spot.

[Judge Phelan]
Yeah, what's done is done.

[McNulty]
Question is, what do you want me to do now? I think you can leverage the Deputy Ops with a phone call.

[Judge Phelan]
He's already detailed people.

[McNulty]
Some detail. Asshole lieutenant thinks he can buy-bust his way to Avon Barksdale.

[Judge Phelan]
You want leverage? We give the dead-witness angle to the newspapers. Stir some real shit.

[McNulty]
No, that tips Barksdale that someone's working him. We don't want to go public.

[Judge Phelan]
No?

[McNulty]
Just put it to the Deputy Ops you lost a witness who testified in your court. That forces the department to commit to the investigation. And when you call Burrell this time, will you forget my fucking name?



[Mahon]
You missed a spot.

[Pryzbylewski]
Why don't you fucking do it?

[Mahon]
Seniority.

[Lt. Daniels]
You found us.

[McNulty]
Wasn't easy. You asked for these guys?

[Lt. Daniels]
I asked for more manpower. Have a seat. What the fuck.

[Pryzbylewski]
Sir, I--

[Carver]
He was showing me the trigger pull on his Glock. And he was just--

[Lt. Daniels]
Detective?

[Greggs]
Officer Pryzbylewski shot the wall, Lieutenant.

[Lt. Daniels]
Why?

[Greggs]
Why did you shoot the wall, Officer Pryzbylewski?

[Pryzbylewski]
I was just showing Carv how my trigger pull is light, you know. I got it so it's real light.

[Carver]
He took the clip out, boss.

[Greggs]
But not the one in the chamber.

[Pryzbylewski]
No, I forgot the one in the chamber, and. Shit, I'm sorry, lieutenant.

[Greggs]
You want him to write on it?

[Pryzbylewski]
Write on what?

[McNulty]
You let one go, you got to write. You got to justify the use of deadly force.

[Pryzbylewski]
Against a plaster wall. It's an accident, okay? Give me a fucking break already.

[Lt. Daniels]
Your name is what?

[Pryzbylewski]
Pryzbylewski.

[Lt. Daniels]
From Auto Unit, right? Cantrell sent you.

[Pryzbylewski]
Not exactly. Lt. Cantrell sent me to Casualty Section a couple months back. And I asked out of Casualty.

[Lt. Daniels]
You came here from Casualty Section?

[Wallace]
Man, these shits is right, yo. It's good with the hot sauce, too.

Most definite.

[Wallace]
Dee, want some nuggets?

[D. Barksdale]
No, go ahead, man.

[Wallace]
Man, whoever invented these, he off the hook. Word! Motherfucker got the bone all the way out the damn chicken. Till he came along, niggas be chewing on drumsticks and shit getting their fingers all greasy. He said "Later" to the bone. Nugget that meat up and make some real money.


[Poot]
You think the man got paid?


[Wallace]
Who?


[Poot]
Man who invented these.


[Wallace]
Shit, he richer than a motherfucker.


[D. Barksdale]
Why? You think he get a percentage?


[Wallace]
Why not?


[D. Barksdale]
Nigga, please, the man who invented them things just some sad-ass down at the basement of McDonald's thinking up some shit to make money for the real players.


[Poot]
No man, that ain't right.


[D. Barksdale]
Fuck right. It ain't about right, it's about money.
You think Ronald McDonald gonna go down that basement and say, "Mr. Nugget, you the bomb. "We selling chicken faster than you can tear the bone out. So, I'm gonna write my clowny-ass name on this fat-ass check for you." Shit. The nigga who invented them things still working in the basement for regular wage thinking of some shit to make the fries taste better. Believe.

[Wallace]
He still had the idea, though.

Who?

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Polk and Pat Mahone. A couple of drunks from Property.

I don't know them.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Why would you? They haven't made a case in 10 years. Also got handed some kid named Prezbelowski or Prezbelewski--

-Pryzbylewski, him, I know.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Yeah? Why was he in Casualty Section?

He shot up his own car. You remember?

[Lieutenant Daniels]
He did what?

He fired two clips into an unmarked car, somewhere out in West Baltimore. Called in a Signal 13 on the radio, like he was under fire from a sniper. You didn't hear about that? He stuck to his story for half a day, until Ballistics matched the bullet to his off-duty weapon. We almost indicted him for false report.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Why didn't you?

He's got some kind of suction with the Mayor's office. I'm not sure.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
My point is, I can't build much with the garbage they sent me.

So, go to the deputy, right? You've got his ear on this. Why not?

[Lieutenant Daniels]
I ask the deputy for manpower. He then tells Property to send me two men, and Special to send two more. And those shift lieutenants they know it's a chance to dump their deadwood. The deputy, he knows this, too. He could have offered to let me pick but he didn't. He sent me a message on this.

And the message is?

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Don't dig in, don't get fancy. Put a quick charge on this Barksdale and then get out. If he sends me good police, I might do good police work. But if the state's attorney's office were to--

No, no.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
Rhonda, darling it's bad protocol for me to ask for help and then trash the help I'm given. You, on the other hand--

No way. My office doesn't play that way. You people staff your cases, you bring us casework. I cross that line, I only piss everyone off. Best I can do is tell my unit chief that you drew shit. He wants to take it upstairs call the deputy for operations, that's his choice.

[Lieutenant Daniels]
That won't happen.

Probably not. Make lemonade.

[Herc]
Fuck!

[Carver]
Yo, Kima, where you taking us?

[Greggs]
Get down.

[Carver]
What?

[Greggs]
Jesus. You all ain't got no creep to you. Pair of goddamn elephants.

[Herc]
A rusted nail just went through my shoe. I'm gonna need a tetanus to get behind this bullshit.

Hey Kima.

[Greggs]
Hand me that bag.

Kima, if you don't mind me asking when was it that you first figured you liked women better than men?

[Greggs]
I mind you asking.

[Bubbles]
Gentlemen, what's going on there, guys?

Testers, man, already out.

[Bubbles]
No. I'm not in need of your services, bro. I'm offering my services to y'all.

What you got in the bag, man?

[Bubbles]
One thing a gentleman of color like better than a new pair of downtown shoes is a downtown brim, right?

What's with the hats?

Five-o! -Five-o! Shut it down!

Clean?

You ain't gonna put that one on me.

He a witness.

You picked that shit up off the ground, so don't be trying to put shit on me.

[McNulty]
Is that what you think I'm about? Boy thinks I'm gonna dirty him.

Like y'all won't do it. You Western knockos come here, picking shit up off the ground putting it on whoever you damn well please.

[McNulty]
Do I know you? Let's understand each other. I'm not Western District. I'm not a knocko. I don't dirty people because I don't care about a possession charge. I'm a Murder Police, I'm here about the bodies. D'Angelo here knows that. He remembers me from the trial, right? I'm sitting in back there, behind Stringer, watching, listening.

[D'Angelo Barksdale]
Y'all hassling me about that shit? I thought you heard what the jury had to say.

[Bunk]
Fuck the jury.

[McNulty]
Yeah, fuck the jury. This is just us talking, right? Just you, me, my partner and What did you say your name was?

I didn't say shit.

[McNulty]
Just you, me, my partner and Mr. Shit here. We're just talking about how things go, right? We are just sharing our thoughts here. Bunk, a vial for your thoughts.

[Bunk]
I'm thinking it's one thing for one of you little Terrace niggas to shoot somebody in the lobby of the 221 building, you know? Who gives a fuck? But when you ace a witness, aworking man, who ain't even in the game. You gonna act like this is news?

I tell you this, I don't know shit about shit, but I do know this anyone who spend time witnessing shit, you gonna get got. I know that sounds kind of harsh, but that's the way things go around here officer. Let's roll.

[McNulty]
That how you see things, D'Angelo? Like your friend here?

[Bubbles]
I'm here trying to outfit niggas with something to rile up some pussy. You don't want to know, Bubbles used to get that pussy. I reckon the pussy ain't worth what it used to be if you can do it without a proper brim, right? Come on, big man.

[Greggs]
Something's up.

What?

Don't know. Yo, Carv. Come here.

[Greggs]
Listen, you see Bubbs put a hat on anybody you take some pictures, all right?

Yeah?

[Greggs]
Especially the red one. If you see him put that red hat on anybody's head snap your fucking fingers off.

Where you going?

Yo, Carv.

Notice that most of the time it's like Kima thinks she's above us or something? I mean, I don't see any stripes on her fucking sleeve I don't see that. All I see is some stuck-up dyke bitch who ain't been in CID half the time of you or me and she's fucking telling us what to do. It ain't right. You think it's right?

Shut up for just a minute. I'm trying to concentrate on this shit here.

Nice truck.

No?

Makes your breath minty fresh.

Is you all gonna arrest me? Then go the fuck ahead and arrest me. If not, shut the fuck up.

You want to get arrested?

No.

Shut the fuck up your own self.

I'm out of here.

[Bunk]
Hey, D'Angelo. You better bend the fuck over.

Shit.

You ain't got nothing else to do today?

[Bunk]
No, no, nothing.

Y'all ain't got no charge. You're getting awfully close, man. You new on the force or some shit?

[Bunk]
All right, Dee. Move it.

It's Greggs.

Get me the lieutenant.

[Lt. Cantrell]
Prez? He's no good to anyone, he's a goof.

How is he my problem then? How is he still carrying a gun and badge?

[Lt. Cantrell]
You know Valchek in Southeast?

Yeah.

[Lt. Cantrell]
Son-in-law.

I can't carry him on this. You know who Special sent me?

Who?

Polk and Mahoney. Between the two of them I don't have a designated driver.

[Lt. Cantrell]
I heard you have someone from Pawnshop.

Lester Freamon? A cuddly housecat. I don't think he can even find his gun. Look, take Pryzbylewski back.

[Lt. Cantrell]
You know I can't. I would, but I can't. I gave Valchek my word on it, okay? I can't help it that Prez is fucking the guy's daughter. If not for that, he's gone, no question.

So, you got suction with Valchek?

[Lt. Cantrell]
If I cross him, I'm fucked on the next round of promotions. For Christ's sake, I'm with you on the short list for major.

Valchek has suction with the First District Democratic Club and they got suction with the Mayor, and I'm the runt without a tit here.

[Lt. Cantrell]
I owe you, okay?

So, give me Sydnor.

[Lt. Cantrell]
No way.

Give me Sydnor and I'll keep Prez.

[Lt. Cantrell]
He's my best man, you can't take him.

I'm taking your worst, remember?

[Lt. Cantrell]
How about Steinman?

I'm working drugs in West Baltimore, I need a black guy for surveillance. I need Sydnor. Jesus, know what Prez did this morning?

[Lt. Cantrell]
Tell me.

He put a bullet through a wall, dry-firing in the detail office. Look, no promises. You give me Sydnor, I'll carry Pryzbylewski as long as I can.

[Lt. Cantrell]
Fine, Cedric, fuck, whatever. Jesus Christ.

How did you handle the judge?

I told him we were looking closely at the situation.

I asked him not to say anything publicly.

So, then he's not gonna go public, right?

Judge Phelan called this morning crying about a witness in his murder trial who was killed.

Did the judge say where he heard it?

He heard it from our man, McNulty. That's his pipeline on this crap.

Pardon my French, but I got no problem giving that asshole up at this point. I don't need people I can't trust.

Yeah, who does?

The newspapers get hold of this, it'll be a complete clusterfuck.

Okay, so the thing to do is reassure the judge keep him off his damn soapbox. An arrest or two would help.

What if it's true? What if Barksdale ordered the murder of a state's witness?

Are you serious?

Why would anyone do that after the witness testifies? It has no effect on the case.

Payback, plain and simple.

Bullshit, plain and simple.

Look, I know there could be two dozen other reasons for this man to be murdered, but what if--

No money for pretrial. No witness protection program. Look, this is a poor fucking city, gentlemen. The last thing we ever need to do is to announce we lost a witness. I mean, it's hard enough pushing felony casework through that courthouse as it is.

You got to pull McNulty off this.

Who caught the murder case?

Bunk Moreland, McNulty's partner.

Then you'd have to pull him, too.

No, we pull McNulty up, the judge will bring the press into this. I can see that a mile away. No, we're gonna sit tight, let McNulty take his best shot and hope like hell he comes up short.

[McNulty]
How do you wanna handle this?

[Bunk]
We got nothing on him. We try to front, he'll see right through us. He's scared though.

[McNulty]
Soft.

[Bunk]
Go with the deuce?

[McNulty]
Hold up, hold up.

[Lt. Daniels]
He part of my case?

[Bunk]
No, sir. He's a potential suspect in my murder.

[Lt. Daniels]
Which might be part of my case.

[Bunk]
I could use some coffee. You want some coffee?

[Lt. Daniels]
I need a word with you.

[McNulty]
We're just about to go--

[Lt. Daniels]
Now.

[Lt. Daniels]
You remember all that bullshit I gave you about keeping me informed about nothing happening that I don't know about?

[McNulty]
Lieutenant--

[Lt. Daniels]
Wasn't bullshit.

[McNulty]
My partner caught a murder. It may have nothing with Barksdale at all.

[Lt. Daniels]
I just came from Deputy Ops' office where your own major's telling Burrell to do you.

You hear me? Rawls is giving you up.

[McNulty]
What the fuck did I do?

[Lt. Daniels]
You can't shut your mouth. You think that downtown judge is gonna bail your ass out on this? You really think that? You should have come to me. We bring this business to the deputy first, we got a shot. But no, you're out there all alone, jumping bad.

[McNulty]
You got the deputy's ear? -

[Lt. Daniels]
On this case, I do.

[McNulty]
Then how come they sent every worthless hump in plainclothes? You ask for men, they send you drunks and fuck-ups. I want to do this case.

[Lt. Daniels]
So do I.

[McNulty]
Then you're gonna get all the way in, Lieutenant. If I see you get all the way in, then I know who you are, what you're about.

[Lt. Daniels]
Who is he?

[McNulty]
D'Angelo Barksdale. Nephew to the king.

[Lt. Daniels]
That's the one that beat the murder?

[McNulty]
Yeah, him.

[Lt. Daniels]
What do you have to connect him to the dead witness?

[McNulty]
Not a thing.

[Lt. Daniels]
Why did you pick him up?

[McNulty]
Press him. See what kind of flex he shows.

[Lt. Daniels]
She goes in with you.

[McNulty]
We don't need her. Bunk and me, we got our own rhythm.

[Lt. Daniels]
You want me in, McNulty? I thought you said you wanted me in. You're along for this interview, but it's Homicide's play, so let him lead.

[McNulty]
You might want to run tag and title on these two trucks. They scoped us when we jacked the kid.

[Greggs]
Been there. Info's already in the file. Y'all weren't the only lawmen down in the Canyon today.

[McNulty]
Really, where were you? Where was she?

[McNulty]
I mean, the thing is, I can't see a reason for that man to be dead. I can't. I mean, hell, you beat us in court. We don't take it personal.

[Bunk]
Fuck, no. We get paid either way. And it's not like you did anything real bad throwing a couple of hot ones at Pooh Blanchard. No one's gonna miss that motherfucker. But you know the man who got killed this time? You know who that poor son of a bitch was?

[McNulty]
A citizen.

[Bunk]
Worked every goddamn day of his life. You know that? He would get up every day, go out and do maintenance work. Then on the weekends, he was driving a cab out to the airport.

[McNulty]
Two jobs. And he volunteers what little time he has left at his church.

[Bunk]
Church-going man. A bethel man, a deacon. Two jobs and three kids.

[McNulty]
Did you know that? Three kids. Young, too.

[Bunk]
Five, eight, eleven. Crying their little orphaned asses to sleep cause they lost their mama some years ago and now they out there on their own.

[McNulty]
He doesn't believe us.

[Bunk]
I know he don't believe it.

[McNulty]
We've been here two hours, telling you what's true in the world and you sit like nothing happened.

Where my lawyer at?

[Bunk]
We called him. When he comes, we'll let you know.

I got nothing to say. I mean, I'm sorry for the man, but I ain't got nothing to say.

[Bunk]
You sorry? You sorry for him? You fucking killed the man.

No.

[Bunk]
Yes, you did. We don't think that you shot him, but if you weren't so busy lighting folks up in high-rise lobby he ain't coming out of the elevator and see it happen.

[McNulty]
He don't see anything, he doesn't testify. He doesn't testify, those kids still got a daddy to lean on.

Why'd he testify?

[Bunk]
How would we know?

He didn't have to testify.

[Bunk]
No, he didn't, but he did. And you still beat the charge, didn't you? But that wasn't enough. It's not enough to beat the murder. They gotta send a cold message to everyone in the Terrace. Fuck the working man. Fuck his kids, that shit don't count. See, that's what I don't get about the drug thing. Why can't you sell the shit and walk the fuck away? You know what I mean? Everything else in this country gets sold without people shooting each other behind it. In the Terrace, it's one body after another. You remember that little boy got shot in the barbershop on West Lombard last summer? One asshole chases another into a house empties a 9. Bullshit argument over 20 missing gelcaps and that little kid, instead of getting his first haircut he gets one in the eye. You remember that?

It's fucked up.

Yes, it is.

They didn't have to do that.

Shoot up a barber shop? No, they did not have to do that.

That man was just my thing. My thing, they ain't had...They ain't had to do that. No mama and no daddy. Lord Jesus!

[Bunk]
I'll tell you what I think you should do, D'Angelo not because I think you wanted that man to get shot or had anything to do with shooting him. But I think you could just sit here for a moment or two, collect your thoughts you know, get your shit together. And then I think it might be a good thing for you to write a little letter to those children and you let them know you're sorry that they're not gonna have anyone left, you know? I mean, just say something. Tell them how you personally think your uncle maybe he got it wrong this time, because it's wrong that they lost their daddy behind what happened, you know? It might mean something to them to know that you're feeling for them.

Man, I ain't got nothing to say.

Just say what's in your heart.

[McNulty]
Church deacon? That was thick.

Got good to me, what can I say?

It's sad enough with the kids being orphaned and everything.

Photo was from Bunk's desk.

They're yours?

Yeah, afraid so.

Good thing they look like their mama.

Maurice Levy just posted.

He's by the elevators.

The defense never rests.

Shame on you, McNulty.

Dragging me from the Levy family preserve on a Friday night.

[McNulty]
My apologies.

Yvette made brisket.

[McNulty]
Good?

When served hot.

One or two?

[McNulty]
Your client.

What the fuck! Stop writing! Now!

I'm just--

Shut up! He calls his lawyer, that's supposed to be the end of the interview.

Your client gave no statement, we took no statement. He just decided, voluntarily, to write a letter to the victim's family.

To say that--

Shut up! Any charge here?

[McNulty]
No charge.

Good, get up.

Go! Walk! Listen to me, you don't say anything you don't do anything, you don't write anything. Do you hear me? Shut up! How many times do I have to tell you people the same fucking thing? What the fuck is that? Armoire.

Louis Quatorze.

I mean, what is it, a toy?

[Lt. Daniels]
Some of you I know. Some of you I will know. If you've ever worked with me before, you know I don't want cowboy shit and I don't want surprises. The task is Avon Barksdale, and Avon Barksdale only. No sidetrips, no sprawl.

Primary investigators are Greggs from my unit and-- Greggs from my unit and McNulty from Homicide. They keep the file. On the street, we work partners. Greggs and Sydnor. Herc and Carver. McNulty's with Santangelo, Mahone and Polk. Pryzbylewski and Freamon.

To start with, we got nine--

How's that? Did that get it?

What?

Do you hear me?

What?

[Greggs]
To start with, we have nine or ten open homicide files to work back through for leads. McNulty and Santangelo, they're on that already. Herc, Carver, Sydnor, and me, we'll be targeting street dealers and rolling them back up at Barksdale's people.

Polk and Mahone are available to run down specific leads. Freamon, Pryzbylewski, are gonna start in-office on clerical duty. You need a prosecutor--

No, turn the shit off!

What?

You need a prosecutor.

[Lt. Daniels]
Rhonda Pearlman from Narcotics is assigned. Now, we don't have enough desks yet, so we gotta share--

Y'all from Purchasing?

[Lt. Daniels]
No.

Like I was saying, we've been promised some computers and surveillance equipment.

Questions?

Yeah, who signs the overtime slips?

No OT, unless prior authorization.

A case goes from red to black by way of green, Lieutenant.

[Lt. Daniels]
You people bring me something that needs OT you'll get OT until then, live on your fucking salaries.

[Lt. Daniels]
"I'm very sorry for your father. If I could've stopped it, I would have." What can you do with this?

Nothing legally. He doesn't put himself in, or anyone else for that matter. You can't read that letter and think that man was killed for any other reason than he was a witness.

Why apologize at all if you got nothing to do with it?

We lost a state's witness. Even in Baltimore, that's supposed to mean something, right? Just go to the deputy, show him what's what and let's put something real together. This case needs informants. It needs long-term surveillance. And eventually, it's gonna need a Title 3 wiretap. Most of all, it needs police who know how to work those things.

[Lt. Daniels]
You think it's good for business to put it out on the street that our witnesses get killed?

You think it's not on the street already?

[Lt. Daniels]
No grandstanding, no red balls. Like I said, we get in and out.

Aunt June.

Yeah, I hope you're hungry.

Starving.

Hey, Dee! What's up, baby?

That your uncle?

Yeah.

I thought he'd look different.

My man, Dee.

What's up, man? This the little man? Yo, you see how shorty favor your nephew here? What's up, little man? You ain't gonna be able to deny that child.

You wanna come to me? I know you tryin' to come to me.

Been napping.

Yeah?

Just woke up.

You got a grip, let me see your grip. C'mon, give us a twirl, let's take a look.

What you looking at?

Go fix her a hot plate.

All right.

Put everything on it. She's the skinniest thing in here.

Come on, girl, we gonna hook you up.

Don't let that fool you, she can eat, man.

How y'all doing? You doing good?

Yeah, we all right.

She want me to move in, I'm thinking about it.

Let's walk.

Here you come.

You gonna take my man from me?

Yeah.

Be careful with my little soldier.

Got a name for that one?

No.

But he's one of the boys they use in the stairwell.

What about him?

That's Little Man. He's muscle.

You know his real name? -Cl?

Yeah.

You need some privacy?

No, it's all right. He's cool.

What's with the hat?

Go ahead, tell him, Bubbles.

I go down the way with some hats that I'm selling. If someone is someone you need to know I put the red hat on them and Kima here take the pictures. If they in the mix, they get another color. If they ain't shit, they don't get shit.

Everyone in the hat's part of Barksdale's crew?

At the Terrace. We haven't hit the low-rises yet.

That's sharp. I like that.

Bubbles does not forget a face.

Ain't so good with names, but, you know, faces I keep in my head.

I used to take him down to Escape Unit, let him look through the warrant books.

He'd call me up that night, telling me to go to this corner, that corner.

Yeah, paid $25 a pop.

That's good money.

Yeah.

How much does the hat routine pay?

Nothing.

We free on this.

Motherfuckers beat my boy down.

Who?

Little hoppers in the low-rises.

Who's your boy?

I got a friend.

Younger white boy.

Used to come down to the corners, real green.

I was schooling him, you know?

What happened?

They stomped him.

You see it? Fuck a man like that up for a couple dollars, you know? He still at University, tubes all up in his nose. Can't say but a fucking word or two.

But you know, that's how it goes, right?

How you feeling, Bubbles?

Restless.

Yeah, I could tell.

What the fuck? Can you hook a nigga up with $10 then till tomorrow? I mean, you know, just to carry me, Kima.

Bubbles.

Obliged.

Stay out of the projects the next couple of days just to be safe.

Girl's always fretting over me.

Change it up, Bubs.

Yeah, yeah.

Go Eastside.

Yeah, yeah.

$20? You gonna spoil him with that shit.

I respect the work.

They used your name, Stringer, Wee-Bey Savino, Peanut. They knew a lot of names. They knew a lot. But you didn't say nothing? Shit, man, I don't know nothing.

What was you writing then?

Yo, they was talking about the man who got killed and his kids, they asked me to write.

What you got to do with them, Dee?

Yeah, that's what I said. Then they cried about how the kids ain't doing so good. I'm like, it ain't gonna hurt for me to say I'm sorry the man got killed.

Why the fuck you gotta say you're sorry? Motherfuckers tried to put your ass in the stir.

Yeah, but it didn't turn out that way. You know, that's what I'm saying, it's a shame that y'all. I'm saying, it's a shame what happened to that man, all right? Cause he didn't do anything but come off the elevator when I was doing that thing that I was doing.

What you think, cuz?

About what?

I'm saying, what you think about what happened to the man? You think we killed the motherfucker? Speak your mind.

Man, I don't know.

Exactly.

You don't know, and you don't need to know. And if we did, we had a reason. And if we didn't, we had a reason. But either way, you ain't got shit to do with it. It ain't on you, cuz. You feel me? It ain't on you.

Now, if you get jacked again I don't want to hear shit about you writing nothing to no one. Got it?

Yeah.

Come on, let's have some good times and get some ribs before they done ate all the ribs up.

This case isn't shit, Carv.

I know it.

We're dancing around with this motherfucker, typing shit out taking pictures of assholes in hats.

What the fuck is that?

It's bullshit. I say we go down there right now. Right fucking now. We go into those towers, and we let them know. I'm serious. You got to let these motherfuckers know who you are. You coming?

I'm with you.

Carv?

What the hell?

Let's do it. Come on.

Shut it down.

Five-O.

Five-O, five-O, break out.

Yo, come here, man.

Come here, where you going? Don't act like you don't know me. Get your hands up. Put that down.

Drop that shit! Kiss the fucking ground!

Put your hands up.

Don't look at me like I ain't talking English.

You got a needle on you? Got anything in here that's gonna stick me? No? What's that? What you got in your pockets? You know what? Put your pants down, man. Put your pants down and get down on the ground.

Get down on the fucking ground! All right, spread your shit out.

Nice shoes.

Think a happy thought.

Why don't you go somewhere else with that bullshit? No-good motherfuckers.

Stay down, man, stay down.

Y'all can let Barksdale and them know who owns these towers. Cause we're coming back.

I'm sick of this shit.

Kiss my ass! We roll out, come back in an hour, catch everybody dirty.

You'll see how that goes.

That's bullshit, man.

Yo, stay down, man.

That's fucked up. Man ain't did nothing.

Want something?

Move, shitbird.

I ain't doing nothing.

Really?

I got nothing for you.

My eye, my eye.

Who you gonna eyefuck now? Are you serious? You bleed on my car? Don't bleed on my car. Get your shit off my car. What the fuck's the matter with you? Got a visual? Fuck.

Get the radio.

Son of a bitch! Shots fired, shots fired. Officers need assistance. I'm hit! Signal 13. Officer down, Officer down! Shit!

Hello?

You seen the paper?

What?

The newspaper, get it.

Hey, kids.

Oh, no. You happy now, bitch? McNulty! Where in fuck is he? He's detailed, Major, to Narcotics-- I fucking know where he's detailed. I fucking already know that!

Yes, sir.

Where is he right now?

I can page him, sir.

Move that fucking desk out of my unit. I do not want that fucking man's desk in my unit. That's Crutchfield's desk.

Crutchfield's?

McNulty sits here.

What the fuck was that about?

Did you see today's paper?

Just sports.

You gotta check out the front page.

What do you think they'll do to him?

Let me tell you something. If he gets caught with his dick up the ass of the deputy's wife he's still gonna have more of a career than if they find out he's behind that story.

Lieutenant.

I saw the story in the paper. I want you to know I had nothing to do.

They jumped us, Boss.

Who? Fucking project niggers.

What are you doing here at 2:00 in the morning?

Field interviews, sir, police work.

Police work?

Yeah.

I got a 14-year-old in critical but stable condition at University and two witnesses who say one of you princes cold-cocked him with the butt-end of a pistol.

No, sir.

I got his mother over at lID filing a formal brutality charge which for Herc will make an even four in the last two years.

None sustained.

But all of them true.

We thought that--

I got one less Crown Vic than I had last night. I'm out two Kevlar vests that burned in the car two hand-held radios, a shotgun and I'm about to lose this idiot here for a week or two of medical. And for what? What did you all learn when you went to the Terrace at 2:00 in the morning to conduct field interviews? What valuable information did we acquire from this situation? IID is gonna be on all three of you by afternoon and if you don't get a story straight by then you're gonna have a file thick enough to see the light of a trial board.

Now tell me, who cold-cocked the kid?

Me.

Why?

He pissed me off.

No, Officer Pryzbylewski, he did not piss you off.

He made you fear for your safety and that of your fellow officers.

I'm guessing now, but maybe he was seen to pick up a bottle and menace officers Hauk and Carver both of whom had already sustained injury from flying projectiles.

Rather than use deadly force in such a situation maybe you elected to approach the youth, ordering him to drop the bottle.

Maybe when he raised the bottle in a threatening manner you used a Kel-Light, not the handle of your service weapon to incapacitate the suspect.

Go practice.

You fuck the bullshit up when you talk to lnternal I can't fix it, you're on your own.

Push the arraignments back to 3:00.

And the Gillette case?

The Gillette trial goes back on the move docket.

Come on, walk with me.

I'm running late.

It wasn't me.

The story quoted you.

Reporter has the story confirmed when he calls me about the quote.

What am I gonna say? No, he wasn't a witness? No, he didn't testify in my court last week? What? You don't think it's around about the witness? Lawyers, clerks, jurors, everybody talks.

I'm in the shit here, Your Honor.

What can I tell you? I called the deputy, not the newspapers.

I gotta run. You should have hung them.

If I hang them, I hang myself.

I'm the man in charge, remember? Besides, you don't give your people up to lID. You don't do that. Even if they put a 14-year-old kid into Critical Care? This case, it's just.

Get out of it.

How do I do that?

I don't know.

But you can't lose if you don't play.

I always heard it that you can't win if you don't play.

The department puts you on a case it doesn't want.

You're given people that are useless or untrustworthy.

Correct.

If you push too hard, and any shit hits the fan you'll be blamed for it.

Correct.

If you don't push hard enough, and there's no arrest, you'll be blamed for that, too.

Correct.

The game is rigged.

But you cannot lose if you do not play.

In the hole, y'all.

Hey! Hey, you fuckheads! Hey, police!

Hello.

Lieutenant Daniels?

Yeah.

Who was that?

It was the duty officer down at University hospital.

What happened?

He's blind in one eye.

Who? The kid.

The 14-year-old.

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