Crime Beat goes international to BBC
The crew from British Broadcasting Corp. spent nearly 30 hours filming me over two days and will use about five minutes when the show airs as scheduled tonight at 7 p.m. on BBC America (Comcast, digital cable channel 114). Z on TV also promos the show.
They wanted to know what crime was like in Baltimore through my eyes -- the success of The Wire in Europe the peg of course. The producer didn't ask me about the show, but more about the culture of violence. We went to two crime scene, one a fatal shooting near a school (seen above in a video taken by The Sun's Gus G. Sentementes), another a minor shooting in East Baltimore in a driving rainstorm. In between, they filmed me talking and walking near the courthouse, in front of Lexington Market, and filmed the city skyline from atop Federal Hill and Washington Hill and boarded rowhouses in East and West Baltimore.
I'm not sure what impressions my tour left them (I know we ate well, but those scene didn't get filmed). The producer Sarah Gilbert did say that folks back home would be shocked to have violence so close to their homes -- what passes for routine here is exceptional there. They have crime in London, and not all London neighborhoods are like Piccadilly Circus or South Kensington.
But they don't have the gun violence we have here.
I'm interested to see this -- it was my first time narrating a television program (it's different than being interviewed). The crew did discover at the fatal shooting scene that witnesses are hard to come by. Not only do people tend to fade away when the cops come, they don't want to talk to anyone, reporters or the police.
"Nobody knows but everybody knows," the deputy major of the Southwestern District, Charles V. Carter, told me and the television camera.