Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
About The Reliable Source  |  On Twitter: Reliable Source  |  E-mail: Amy and Roxanne  |  RSS Feeds RSS Feed
Posted at 6:01 PM ET, 03/10/2011

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson of "The Wire" arrested in Baltimore; producer David Simon questions drug war

By The Reliable Source

Felicia "Snoop" Pearson is escorted by Baltimore police following a drug raid, 2011. (AP/WBAL-TV 11)

"The Wire" was heralded in its time for its nuanced portrayal of the lives of Baltimore's underclass: People like Felicia "Snoop" Pearson.

­A crack baby who graduated from the foster-care system into low-level drug dealing, she went to jail at 14 for killing another girl in a street fight. Pearson seemed to leave that world behind when she was launched to fame with her role as a tomboy gang assassin in the long-running HBO series.

But on Thursday, Pearson, 30, was arrested in a major state and federal sweep that detained more than 60 people from across Baltimore in connection with a large-scale marijuana and heroin operation, agents said.

Perpetrator -- or casualty? In a surprisingly impassioned and philosophical statement, "The Wire"'s prize-winning creator David Simon argued that his former star deserves sympathy, and a benefit of the doubt.

"This young lady has, from her earliest moments, had one of the hardest lives imaginable," Simon wrote, in a statement released to us via HBO. "Her America is different from my own. I am. . . ill-equipped to be her judge."


Snoop Pearson, at the height of her "Wire" fame. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

A tiny, androgynous character with a smoky masculine drawl, Pearson was discovered in a Baltimore nightclub in 2004 by actor Michael K. Williams, who played "The Wire"'s memorable gay stickup artist Omar. (Williams, through a rep, declined comment Thursday.) She was only four years out of the Jessup detention center and at risk of sliding back into street life; snagging a job with the show in its third season, she told the Post in 2007, "saved my life." She mesmerized viewers by bringing the radiance of a Chaplin heroine to an otherwise chilling role. Her character's name, same as her own on the streets: Snoop.

Her success on the show enabled her to publish a memoir in 2007 and move out of her rough east side neighborhood. Since "The Wire" ended in 2008, her acting work appears to have been sparse, though a Web resume indicates she recently shot a role in an indie film. In 2008, she was arrested on a marijuana charge as police attempted to serve a warrant to get her to testify in connection with a 2005 murder she allegedly witnessed. Pearson's refusal to cooperate in the murder trial led prosecutors to settle last year for a plea deal in that matter; she was cleared of the drug charge.

Todd Hyatt, a lawyer who represented her in that case, said he had talked to her Thursday and that while they were still trying to figure out what authorities would charging her with, "she obviously maintains she has no involvement in this matter."

Simon had more to say. (Read Simon's full statement on the Snoop arrest.) The former Baltimore Sun crime reporter used Pearson's arrest to raise concerns that "the war on drugs has devolved into a war on the underclass." In neighborhoods like Pearson's, he said in the statement, "the drug economy is now the only factory still hiring and . . . children are trained only for the corners."

As for Pearson's career, Simon bemoaned the fact that "whatever good fortune came from her role in 'The Wire'" did not seem to carry beyond.

Today's showbiz industry, he added, "does not offer a great many roles for those who can portray people from the other America."

Read earlier: The Role of Her Life: Snoop Pearson Is a Killer on HBO's 'The Wire.' A Victim's Family Can't Bear to Watch. (3/16/2007)

By The Reliable Source  | March 10, 2011; 6:01 PM ET
Categories:  In other news...  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: David Simon's statement on Felicia "Snoop" Pearson
Next: Quoted: Donald Rumsfeld on Tyra Banks

Comments


I hope this is a setup or mistake. She has gone through a lot in her short life.

Posted by: mortified469 | March 10, 2011 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Another victory for the drug warriors and another defeat for reason, freedom and the constitution. We never could afford this ridiculous and absurd drug war and we can afford it even less now. Remember the law doesn't have any problem with people getting high or addicted to dangerous recreational drugs as long as the user chooses booze.

Posted by: cduwel | March 11, 2011 4:29 AM | Report abuse

What an idiot. The money she made on The Wire, if invested properly, could have set her up like a bowling pin. Moron..

Posted by: wewinyoulose1 | March 11, 2011 6:44 AM | Report abuse

The Glorification of Trash! This is just another shining example of why the social material system of white supremacy will be difficult to replace...


Posted by: demtse | March 11, 2011 7:18 AM | Report abuse

You can take them out of the hood...but you can never take the hood out of them! Right Chumpster?

Posted by: priveye | March 11, 2011 7:23 AM | Report abuse

Sorry this young lady had such a difficult early life, but she was given an opportunity to change that and make something of her life. She threw it away and not will get to pay the consequences for her choices. I have no sympathy for her or the other people arrested in this drug ring- they are parasites on our society and do nothing but bring harm to our society. As for the comments about this being the only job opportunity available to them- BS! It was the most lucrative and therefore the most appealing...life is about making choices, and then either enjoying or paying the consequences for those choices.

Posted by: pennv | March 11, 2011 8:03 AM | Report abuse

OMG what did she do? Buy some weed?

Off with her head.

Posted by: netwitone | March 11, 2011 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Pennv, not all of us are given choices. Like Simon says The corners are the only place hiring. I went to prison and turned my life around but I had support and family, some people have nothing. Don't judge till you walk a mile in her shoes.

Posted by: augustiswest | March 11, 2011 9:11 AM | Report abuse

stop the stupid, senseless, wasteful war on drugs.

Legalise it, tax it, treat the few who can't handle it.

Posted by: MarilynManson | March 11, 2011 9:19 AM | Report abuse

She may have been through a lot, but it was her DECISIONS that put her into those unfavorable situations. Her real life didn't seem to be different from her screen life and that is TRAGIC. People have to smarter about the situations they put themselves in, or the people they hang with. Obviously she did not learn from her mistakes and more importantly may not have the ability to learn from her mistakes and no one stepped in to offer positive advice or assistance. TRAGIC!!

Posted by: common2 | March 11, 2011 9:40 AM | Report abuse

This is the ignorance of the war on drugs. Just like in todays state issues. The rich get a pass while the pressure is put on the poor. Does this woman fly drugs into this country, no. That takes money and connections. However, our justice system wants to place a small charge on a small time individual to get a bigger dealer who still gets his product from someone larger. If our justice system really wanted to keep drugs off the streets, they would put their resources into stopping the it from being brought in. And don't say it could'nt happen with full effort. half the effort you put on the street to lock up the pour, you could get the ones truly involved, but then maybe some rich white men would go to jail.

Posted by: bobby31 | March 11, 2011 9:42 AM | Report abuse

Do the crime, do the time. Is she too "sympathetic" to follow the rules, get a job, contribute to the world a little? She killed a young woman. She refused to cooperate with authorities concerning a recent murder investigation.

All the sympathizers here are enablers and part of the problem. You can love this person like a Christian should on a personal basis. I have no problem with that. But she needs to be held responsible by society. Remember society, the thing we all depend on to keep the jungle out?

Posted by: Roytex | March 11, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

mr simon is a bald expoltive moron. he stated the "Her America is different from my own. I am. . . ill-equipped to be her judge."

YET, he made and continues to make millions on "her" america.

Posted by: perryrants | March 11, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

The girl performed on The Wire. She didn't take a class on The Wire. She didn't get paid what regular actors are paid. And, where was she supposed to learn how to invest her money? From Jo-Jo on the corner? The Wire couldn't save her. She needed to be taught how to live successfully. No one, who has 'Made It', is going to Baltimore to teach her! It's too hard and requires too much time and risk.
Imagine never having anything and then having what seems like a lot of money --- most people would spend it insanely.
Look at the quick million dollar winners. So, don't shake your head at her and shame her. She's already ashamed. She grew up with that feeling. Let's get some balls and teach them!
[Hello? Is that silence I hear?...thought so]

Posted by: lwilson4 | March 11, 2011 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Do the crime, do the time. Is she too "sympathetic" to follow the rules, get a job, contribute to the world a little? She killed a young woman. She refused to cooperate with authorities concerning a recent murder investigation.

All the sympathizers here are enablers and part of the problem. You can love this person like a Christian should on a personal basis. I have no problem with that. But she needs to be held responsible by society. Remember society, the thing we all depend on to keep the jungle out?

Posted by: Roytex | March 11, 2011 9:48 AM | Report abuse

You sound like the people who are part of the problem. I grew up in southeast, d.c. and eventhough i was fortunate enough to go to college and get an education, I also under how many did not. The major problem we have is the fact that the focus is always placed on the ones he didnt know better instead of the ones who do the exploiting. I saw many memebers of my family and community fall to what their surroundings and those who got out and especially those who have no idea, like to say that this person gave in. At the end of the day, it could have easily been you because it takes a second to get into trouble and a lifetime to get out of it. When you say that someone is enabling someone by pointing out the facts that people do not want to face, your in fact enabling the people who continue to force feed these circumstances into these communities. I just pray your never placed in a situation where you need help and someone tells you to go over it or go to jail, because i'm enabling you.

Posted by: bobby31 | March 11, 2011 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Typical hood mentality is to put the blame on other people instead of the person that committed the crime. That could be a huge reason why there is so much crime in Southeast DC…and Southeast DC extended…otherwise known as PG County.

Posted by: priveye | March 11, 2011 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Funny how people are soooo quick to judge. For all we know she's totally innocent. Sad.

Posted by: CharismaSpeaks | March 11, 2011 12:59 PM | Report abuse

" ... Simon bemoaned the fact that 'whatever good fortune came from her role in 'The Wire'" did not seem to carry beyond {it}. Today's showbiz industry, he added, "does not offer a great many roles for those who can portray people from the other America."

---------------------------

The same could be said about "The Wire", itself. That it even got made is the greatest miracle of all.

Posted by: hogsmile | March 11, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess using her show money to get an education never occurred to her. Sorry sweetie, no sympathy here.

Posted by: mstov | March 11, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

It,s ashame that all you do gooders are living so well within the norma's of this great society. I hope that none of you are troubled by the crooks that run this country and the world. I hope that all of you are able to tuff it out as will as Snoop has. when your jobs and support system is not therefor you, or they won't help or care about you. Look around some one is trying to catch you!, at what you are doing. Good luck MS.Snoop

Posted by: leebernard | March 11, 2011 1:54 PM | Report abuse

It,s ashame that all you do gooders are living so well within the norma's of this great society. I hope that none of you are troubled by the crooks that run this country and the world. I hope that all of you are able to tuff it out as will as Snoop has. when your jobs and support system is not therefor you, or they won't help or care about you. Look around some one is trying to catch you!, at what you are doing. Good luck MS.Snoop

Posted by: leebernard | March 11, 2011 1:55 PM | Report abuse

You can take them out of the hood...but you can never take the hood out of them! Right Chumpster?

Posted by: priveye | March 11, 2011 7:23 AM |

*******************************************

@blackeye. . . your momma!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | March 11, 2011 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Leebernard bes right!! Da crook currently running dis country should be in jail with MS Snoop.

Posted by: priveye | March 11, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Hey my BOY Chumpster....glad to see you could make today. No doubt you were out giving MS Snoop some excellent legal advice.

Posted by: priveye | March 11, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Blah blah blah a lot of us have sad stories of how we grew up BUT what makes me mad is how many VERY TALENTED Baltimore School for the Arts kids got INSULTED by Pat Moran because they weren't ignorant or ghetto enough for The Wire. The THUGS came off B more street while LA/NYC provided TALENTED black actors so I have no sympathy for her. She threw away a great opportunity because she knew the "po black woe is me" story would work with white America like Simon who made millions of thugs from B more streets. I hope she rots under the jail so other black youth in Bmore can start changing how this city is viewed!!!! Throw out the trash and I'm qualified to JUDGE her because my life in E.St. Louis, IL/St. Louis,MO was roses either but I chose SUCCESS....

Good Luck Mayor Rawlings!!!!

Posted by: MDlady2 | March 11, 2011 3:35 PM | Report abuse

The story is bad enough but the liberal garbage posts on here are insane. She killed someone and then was given a second opportunity which she used to sell heroine and you people don't think she did anything wrong? What do you think she is a human being or an animal???? I could understand if she were an animal, but she is supposedly more intelligent and able to control herself. Are humans unable to control themselves? Liberalism is a disgusting disease.

Posted by: jkerse2 | March 11, 2011 6:54 PM | Report abuse

stupi wapupu

Posted by: jkerse2 | March 11, 2011 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Drugs are the basis for most crime, she is part of it. I hope she gets as much time as possible.

Posted by: MEG4 | March 11, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2011 The Washington Post Company