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Preston "Bodie" Broadus is a young drug dealer and gangster working for the Barksdale drug cartel in West Baltimore, and later becomes part of drug kingpin Marlo Stanfield's crew. Bodie is a major character and on again/off again protagonist in the HBO series The Wire.
Bodie is portrayed by actor J.D. Williams.
Bodie, aged 16, worked under Avon Barksdale's nephew, D'angelo, in the low-rise projects known as "The Pit", with his friends Poot and Wallace. He was a more prominent member of the area, and was also more openly violent and hostile than his peers. This caused Bodie to chafe under D'Angelo's soft style of leadership and lead him to sometimes challenge his authority. When The Pit's stash was robbed, he made a positive impression on Stringer Bell by noticing the name of the stick-up artist, Omar Little, and describing the van.
Bodie often displayed a quick, violent temper; he instigated the severe beating of an unfortunate drug addict after getting angry at Wallace for letting the group get ripped off with fake dollar bills. In a later conversation in which D'Angelo tries to emphasize decent treatment of the customers, Bodie is unsympathetic; this is perhaps because of his mother's addiction-fueled negligence while she was still alive. In telling his troubled past to Detective Thomas "Herk" Hauk, Bodie's grandmother says that when she took him in, "he was only four, but even then, I knew he was angry." Later, Bodie punched an elderly Detective while being searched. Bodie received a beating for this, from several of the Detectives present. He was arrested, but almost immediately after arriving at a juvenile detention facility, he walked out and stole a car, and was soon back dealing again. He became a personal target of Herc and Carver, who picked him up in the pit and gave him a second beating. However, while waiting for prisoner transfer, they softened towards him over a game of pool. The Barksdale Organization's lawyer, Maurice "Maury" Levy, soon convinced a judge to release Bodie. Herc and Carver were incredulous at this, but when they realized he had legitimately beaten the charges against him (thanks to Levy), they relented.
Later, Bodie was tasked by Stringer Bell to murder his erstwhile friend Wallace after Avon decided to eliminate anyone who might talk to the police. Bodie's willingness to carry out the hit further impressed Stringer. He gathered Poot with little hesitation to aid him in his job. During the lead up to the hit, Bodie was the more confident of the two; however, when they cornered a fearful Wallace, who pleaded with his friends, Bodie showed much hesitation. Only after Poot told him to finish it did he pull the trigger. Although Bodie fired the initial shot, he found it difficult to follow through and kill Wallace as he saw his friend dying in agony. Poot took the gun and finished Wallace off for both of them, and Bodie left the room soon after. After the arrest of his one-time mentor and crew chief D'Angelo, Bodie's leadership skills shined and he stepped into the position by gathering The Pit's members to physically force away a rival drug gang.
Stringer began entrusting Bodie with more difficult tasks, such as picking up the main supply in Philidelphia, and assigned him one of the prized Franklin Terrace Towers to run. Poot was assigned to run the pit and he reported to Bodie. They faced problems with poor quality product because the Barksdales' favored New York suppliers severed ties following Avon's arrest. Bodie came up with considered suggestions to work around the problem at Stringer's meetings.
When an independent crew of dealers moved in on the Barksdales' territory, Bodie's violent outburst led the other crew to start a gunfight which resulted in the accidental death of a child. After failing to adequately dispose of the guns, Bodie was picked up and interrogated by two detectives in connection with the crime. They attempted to bluff a confession out of him, but he saw through their trick and was released.
Stringer was unhappy with him, and ordered him to welcome the dealers of East side kingpin Proposition Joe to the towers, because Joe was providing high-quality product. He and the other West Siders started friendly competition to entice buyers away from Joe's nephew, Cheese. Bodie was pleased when legendary enforcer Brother Mouzone, drove away the East Side dealers.
The Franklin Towers were demolished and Avon Barksdale was released from prison. A Western District Major named Colvin tried to deal with the spread of the drug problem by offering "drug zones" where dealers and users would go unpunished. Bodie worked in one such zone nicknamed "Hamsterdam"; this brought him back into contact with Herc and Carver, now working in the Western District. When the police made their inevitable move on shutting down the free zones, Detectives Mcnulty and Greggs tried to arrest Bodie for possession. Bodie, having already once been stopped but quickly released by McNulty on his way into Hamsterdam, displayed his characteristically sharp mind during interrogation and cited entrapment (or "contrapment" as he mistakenly put it) leading to wrongful arrest, leaving an impressed McNulty no choice but to let him go. He also helped reformed gangster, Dennis "Cutty" Wise, to contact Avon Barksdale on several occasions; the two appear to have a rapport and mutual respect most likely derived from Cutty having known Bodie's deceased older brother.
The Barksdale organization became embroiled in a turf war with Marlo Stanfield's crew. Although Bodie's crew was badly beaten, Bodie himself was not present at the time of the assault. The escalating murder rate brought further police attention. Avon was sent back to prison, Stringer was murdered and the gang was scattered. Bodie was one of the few prominent Barksdale members not present at the home-base, which spared him from the weapons charges and subsequen prison time.
Bodie was forced onto a less-desirable corner due to the Stanfield Organization's complete control of what used to be the Barksdale Organization's prime territories. His newest crew included his second in command "Lex", Little Kevin and Reesy; he employed Wee-Bey's son, Namond Brice, as a runner out of respect for Bey's reputation, despite Namond's poor attitude and lack of street skills. He tried to tempt another young street kid named Michael Lee, a far more effective runner, to take a permanent position at his corner, but Michael declined. Bodie's experience and intelligence allowed him to build up a solid business in his out of way corner, even with a lack of muscle and experienced support, as he only was able to hire younger dealers and inexperienced students like Namond. He continued to have dealings with Sergeant Carver and Officer McNulty, since his operation fell within their jurisdiction, and was considered a source of information for the two; this was shown most when they immediately came to him in confidence after Lex's disappearance. After being released from prison mid-way through the season, Bodie's oldest surviving colleague Poot returned and helped Bodie by working on his corner.
Bodie was supplied quality product by ex-Barksdale enforcer Slim Charles, now working for Proposition Joe. Slim's connections and support helped Bodie build his corner into one of the busiest drug markets. Marlo's right hand and top assassin, Chris Partlow, as well as Marlo himslef saw this profittable business oppurtunity and a few days later offered Bodie an ultimatum: let Marlo's operation take over the corner by force, or remain but work for Marlo. Bodie had little support from his crew, and eventually reluctantly submitted to the drug lord's demands. After Slim refused to help on the basis of being outnumbered, Bodie acknowledges the lower quality package of drugs that Marlo was supplying from, compared to the high-potency Proposition Joe package, which makes him more determined not to back down for fear of damaging his already fragile business; he ultimately began selling the package offered by Marlo, after realizing that Propostition Joe nor Slim Chalres would be able to come to his aid
In a fit of romantic jealousy, Bodie's second, Lex murdered his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend, who happened to be a top dealer working for Stanfield. In retribution, Chris and Snoop executed Lex, in an ambush he was lured into by his co-worker Little Kevin. Little Kevin in turn was executed by the pair weeks later because of his failure to follow directions and being picked up by the Police. Bodie soon became disgusted with Marlo's lack of respect for human life and the numer of murders he had comitted on a whim. He sought Poot for advice on the matter, but his old colleague disagreed with his resistant stance, saying when they killed Wallace, it was just as unjustified. Bodie however remained certain that Wallace's death was necessary, as it involved (supposed) betrayal, whereas Marlo's murders were on the basis of ruthless killings. After Little Kevin's body was discovered, a grief-stricken Bodie was arrested for kicking in the windows of a patrol car in rage as he was the one that advised Little Kevin to go see Marlo after the latter asked for his audience, leaving Bodie feeling resposible for his death. He was released on the recommendation of McNulty, who hoped to turn Bodie as an informant against Marlo. Bodie expressed resistance to giving information on his former Barksdale allies, but was eager to talk about Marlo's crew. McNulty had an increasing respect for Bodie which had been developing since Season 1; this and their unified hatred of everything Marlo had done ultimately convinced Bodie that he needed to step up in order to stop the wave of ruthless murder that Marlo had been causing.
Bodie was seen getting into McNulty's car by one of Marlo's lieutenants, who later relayed this information to Marlo, who swiftly ordered his death. Later that night, Bodie is dealing with Poot when Chris and Snoop set up an ambush. Bodie refused to submit anymore and, despite Poot's pleas to run away with him, held his ground by firing at the pair of killers advancing on him. After Poot realizes he cannot convince him otherwise, he reluctantly retreats. While Bodie is still focused on Chris and Snoop, another Stanfield gunman emerges from a doorway behind Bodie and shoots him twice in the head, killing him.
Bodie's death draws parallels to his older brother James, who himself had died young. McNulty, having developed a genuine respect for Bodie throughout the season, is stricken with guilt. Bodie's death is what ultimately convinces McNulty to return to the Major Crime Unit, as he wishes to atone for being responsible for Bodie's death by catching Marlo once and for all.