03/01/2013 04:10 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2013

'The Wire': Gbenga Akinnagbe On How HBO Series Explained Inner-City Gun Violence To America (VIDEO)

"The Wire" star Gbenga Akinnagbe, the Nigerian actor who played ruthless Marlo Stanfield enforcer Chris Partlow on the HBO series, talked to HuffPost Live Friday about the gritty crime drama's portrayal of inner-city gun violence.

"One thing 'The Wire' was able to do was show different angles ... and humanize all these different elements: The drug dealers, the police, the politicians, the students and so on," Akinnagbe explained. "So it would make a middle-age teacher from Milwaukee understand why someone would go out to a corner and shoot this other person in the head. You understood the extreme lives people were living under."

Akinnagbe has become politically active in the years since "The Wire" ended in 2008. He was arrested in 2011 for protesting the NYPD's controversial "Stop And Frisk" policy, but a Brooklyn judge dismissed the charges against him on Thursday.

Akinnagbe's next TV project, USA's "Graceland," premieres in the summer of 2013. He will play Bello, a SoCal-based Nigerian crime boss with unorthodox methods for running his street crew.



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