Former Safe Streets worker federally charged

Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale faces drug and gun counts

BALTIMORE - Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale, the Baltimore man who says he is the inspiration for the character Avon Barksdale on HBO's The Wire, is now the subject of a federal indictment charging him with drug conspiracy and unlawfully possessing a firearm.

According to court records, the three counts were filed in October, but Barksdale was just recently arrested.

Barksdale was also a member of Safe Streets, a violent crime reduction program ABC2 News profiled just two weeks ago.

ABC 2 News reported Nathan "Bodie" Barksdale was part of Safe Streets' Mondawmin site and working within the goal of the program to mediate conflict, interrupt violence and reduce shootings.

Reached by phone, Mondawmin Site Director Delaino Johnson specified Barksdale was employed in the role of violence interrupter, an outreach worker that works on the perimeter of the focused area to interrupt violence before it triggers further shootings.

Barksdale was terminated from the Safe Streets program on November 25 th after he was a no call, no show for his shift. Johnson says it was not the first time he skipped work.

However, Johnson says Barksdale was a valued member of Safe Streets Mondawmin.

"He had a major impact on reducing violence in our area," Johnson said.

The Baltimore City Health Department, which administers the program that uses reformed criminals to reduce gun violence, responded to the arrest with only the following statement.

"Each of the city's four Safe Streets sites is run by a community-based provider, which handles all of the hiring and related human resources functions of their staff.  The sites work diligently to ensure that the right staff with the right skills are hired for this program. The Greater Mondawmin Coordinating Council is the provider for the Safe Streets program in the Mondawmin community. The Baltimore City Health Department provides technical assistance to each Safe Streets site, which includes providing training for all new staff members.  Safe Streets staff remain focused on their work to stem the violence in the city and remain committed to interrupting the transmission of violence."

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