The Anarchist Hero and the Powerless Police

McNulty: Lester are we still cops?
Freamon: Technically, I suppose so.
McNulty: Okay, I was just checking.

When the Barksdales disconnect the payphones in the pit, Freamon responds calmly. He sees that type of disruption as an inevitable result of their arrest of Kevin Johnston. He simply responds by adapting, figuring out the new payphones that the crew will be using and devising other ways to get into the heart of the Barksdale’s communications. But when Freamon learns about Omar’s ambush on Stinkum, he becomes furious. “This fucks us,” he roars. Their jump-out on Kevin Johnston gave them a charge that they could put to Stinkum at any time. This means that Stinkum is more valuable to the investigation as a free man than he is in prison. In the morgue, Stinkum is utterly useless.