The Wire
The Wire

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"...And All The Pieces Matter"

Burrell is trying to enjoy a sandwich as Rawls makes his case for moving on the three linked murders now. Across the table, Daniels says that Rawls's information ties to D'Angelo Barksdale, not Avon. "D'Angelo on behalf of Avon," says Rawls, like he fucking knows. He adds that the victim is known to have been involved with Avon. Daniels starts to say, "We're developing--" "You're dancing around this thing," snaps Rawls. "I'm charging three murders." "You charge those cases, my investigation folds," says Daniels. He adds that none of Rawls's cases is strong enough for court, and that Rawls knows it. Rawls seems to think that arresting D'Angelo and "throwing a little mindfuck at him" will strengthen the cases, even though D'Angelo's already beaten one murder rap, hello. Daniels spits, "You've had him in the box twice before. He's going to go for less the third time around." Rawls starts talking some happy horseshit about re-canvassing and developing fresh witnesses that he has no intention of following through on: "The case I charge on today can be twice as strong by the trial date." Daniels almost smiles at Rawls's audacity in trying to sell this gigantic lie. "We get a conviction, we roll Little Boy Barksdale into Big Boy Barksdale. Then we go home, like good old-fashioned cops, and pound some Budweiser." He nods smugly, because he's got this whole sorry department totally wired. Daniels, with scary calm that turns into scarier rage: "This? Is bullshit!" He stands as he lays into Rawls: "It was McNulty who made the ballistics match on these murders, and he's telling me to fight this! He knows you don't have a viable prosecution. So do you. So do I!" "Enough," Burrell intones. He tells Daniels that he's not wild about the wire himself, given that he has to spend $2,000 a day over his operating budged to staff the case, and that Rawls is offering a chance to "leverage Barksdale through a murder prosecution." He asks why they shouldn't jump on this. Daniels wearily says that if Rawls is right, "then he will be just as right a month from now." If nothing comes of the work of the detail, then Rawls can still charge all his murders: "We lose nothing." On the other hand, if he's wrong -- can't convict on the murders, doesn't get Barksdale to flip -- then it'll be too late to do anything else. Rawls looks chastened, because he knows Daniels is right. Daniels says that Avon will change his pattern, killing the wiretap. Daniels brings it home: "And at that point, there isn't going to be a thing that you, or me, or Rawls here is going to be able to say to that goddamn judge." He said the magic word! The spectre of Phelan appears in the middle of the table like the Princess Leia hologram, and Burrell pees his pants a little.

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The Wire

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