"The Wire" creator David Simon and former Ravens NFL linebacker Ray Lewis are calling for an end to the violence in Baltimore.
Simon, a former Baltimore Sun journalist and whose hit HBO series depicted the harsh realities of life on the streets of the city, wrote in a blog post published Monday evening that "the anger and the selfishness and the brutality of those claiming the right to violence in Freddie Gray’s name needs to cease."
Riots broke out across Baltimore following the funeral for Gray, who died after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody earlier in April.
"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," said Simon. "But this, now, in the streets, is an affront to that man’s memory and a diminution of the absolute moral lesson that underlies his unnecessary death."
Writing "there is a lot to be argued, debated, addressed," and that "changes are necessary and voices need to be heard," Simon called for a cease in the bloodshed and aggression rocking the city. "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."
In another impassioned plea, former NFL player Ray Lewis–who played his entire 17-year professional career for the Baltimore Ravens–posted a video to Facebook on Tuesday in which he tells citizens to "get off the streets. Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer."
In the two-minute video Lewis, who served probation and received a $250,000 fine after striking a plea deal with prosecutors in a 2000 Atlanta murder case which still remains unsolved, condemns the rioting. "You don't have no right to do what you're doing to this city," Lewis says. "Too many hardworking people built this city. We put this city together. We put this city on our back... We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we are not getting the right justice. We know what's out there. But rioting in our streets is wrong."
Simon and Lewis were joined by other celebrated Baltimore locals and those with ties to the area who took to social media to plead for peace.