Ervin Burrell: the Corrupt Commissioner
Alexandra Harper
From "Dead Soldiers," 3.03 The Wire
ne character in The Wire that is both loved and
hated is Ervin Burrell, an officer in the
Baltimore Police Department, who, during the
series, is promoted from Deputy Commissioner of
Operations to Commissioner. Played by Frankie
Faison, the character of Burrell is known for his strong
department politics and his ability to always make
clearing a case difficult for the Barksdale police detail.
Burrell is best classified as an ambitious careerist who
controls his colleagues by using their past corrupt
deeds as leverage in order to maintain his authority
and power.
From the beginning, Burrell is unsupportive of
the Barksdale detail. Burrell makes a few arrests to
appease Judge Phelan and to create the appearance
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