HBO series The Wire co-creator David Simon this week called for leniency for one of the men charged in connection with the death of series star Michael K. Williams.
The Emmy-nominated actor was found dead in his Brooklyn penthouse in September 2021. Carlos Macci, 71, was part of a crew that sold Williams the fentanyl drugs that killed him. Macci pleaded guilty in April to colluding with others to possess and distribute narcotics. However, Simon believes Macci deserves leniency as an addict victim.
In a three-page letter written by Macci’s attorney Thursday as part of a filing to federal district court Judge Ronnie Abrams, Simon invokes his intimate knowledge of Williams’ public service and the very nature of the revered show to support a case of mercy for the accused.
“Michael would look at Mr. Macci and hope against hope that this moment he is in could prove redeeming, that his remaining years could grow into something more, and that through the grace of love and forbearance, something humane and worthy could arise.” rescued from this tragedy,” Simon wrote in the letter.
Simon describes “The Wire,” in which Williams played openly gay robbery Omar Little, as “a careful critique of our drug prohibition and the human cost that underlies that policy.” To explore the perspectives of law enforcement, dealers and consumers, and how they interact with government and bureaucracy, schools and the news media.
Towards the end of his life, the ‘Lovecraft Country’ actor focused on organizing his organization’s efforts We build the block, which aims to organize youth and promote community policing in Brooklyn. He was also an advocate for criminal justice reform.
“Even beyond ‘The Wire’ and its arguments, Michael’s commitment to challenging our country’s incarceration rates and our faith in drug prohibition continues through his documentary work and commitment to ex-offenders and restorative justice groups,” wrote Simon in the letter. “Unique among the actors we worked with on our drama, Michael took the themes and messages of our story to heart and continued to carry that message in word and deed years after our production was completed.”
Williams spoke to The Times shortly before his death about his struggle with drugs and alcohol. In the letter, Simon said Williams’ work has had a “stabilizing influence” on his life and that the crew agreed to help him navigate his temptation.
Simon wrote: “I know Michael would look at the undone and bleak life of Mr Maci [sic] and knows two things for sure: First, that it was Michael who took full responsibility for what happened.”
He also said that “no good can come from the incarceration of a 71-year-old who is largely illiterate, who has struggled with addiction himself for a lifetime, and who has not engaged with aspirations of success and profit on the narcotics street.” ‘ but rather as someone who is himself caught in the diaspora of addiction, living from one day to the next and not caring about the harm done not only to others but to himself as well.”
The US attorney said the crimes and charges stemmed from a “public health crisis”.
According to his attorney’s court papers, the court’s parole board recommended a 10-year sentence for Macci. Zeman’s filing also requests that Macci, who has been in prison since his February 2022 arrest, be given a nearly year-and-a-half-year served sentence.