- Associated Press - Thursday, March 26, 2015

WASHINGTON (AP) - Talk of overhauling the criminal justice system is serious business - but before diving into the subject, President Barack Obama had something else he wanted to say.

Obama told David Simon, creator of the acclaimed HBO series “The Wire,” that he was a huge fan of the program about life in drug-plagued Baltimore.

Obama and Simon sat down this week at the White House for a 12-minute discussion about the need to reduce the incarceration of nonviolent drug offenders and steps to make cities safer. A video of their conversation was played at Thursday’s Bipartisan Criminal Justice Summit in Washington.

Obama said “The Wire” wasn’t just one of the greatest TV shows ever. He called it one of the greatest “pieces of art” in the last couple of decades.

The president said people looking for solutions to the drug war need to “humanize what so often, on the local news, is just a bunch of shadowy characters and tell their stories.”

“That’s where the work you’ve done has been so important,” Obama told Simon.

Obama once again paid tribute to his favorite “Wire” character: Omar Little, a stick-up man who targets drug dealers.




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