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Leander Sydnor
The Wire Sydnor.jpg
First appearance "The Detail" (episode 1.02)
Last appearance "–30–" (episode 5.10)
Cause/reason End of series
Created by David Simon
Portrayed by Corey Parker Robinson
Episode count 38
Gender Male
Age 20s
Occupation Detective in the Baltimore police department's major crimes unit
Title Detective

Leander Sydnor is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actor Corey Parker Robinson. Sydnor is a young, married Baltimore Police detective and was a member of the Barksdale detail and later worked in the Major Crimes Unit.




Season 1

Sydnor was assigned to the Barksdale detail from the Auto Theft Department after Lieutenant Daniels made a special request of Sydnor's commanding officer Lt. Cantrell to give him his best detective to balance out taking "his worst"–the erratic Detective Pryzbylewski. In the detail he was partnered with Detective Lester Freamon and the pair dug in to the Barksdale organization's paper trail. Sydnor also performed valuable undercover work, making hand to hand buys to build evidence, alongside Detective Kima Greggs and her informant Bubbles. Bubbles helped Sydnor improve his undercover image by recommending changes like not wearing his wedding band ("you're married to the needle now") and authenticating his footwear by walking on empty vials. Sydnor was also responsible for identifying Avon Barksdale at a basketball game. He later told Freamon, who had become something of a mentor to the young detective, that the investigation was the best police work he had ever done.

Season 3

Sydnor returned to working in his old district after the dissolution of the Barksdale detail. When Daniels established a permanent Major Case Unit he was allowed to choose his own detectives and encouraged Sydnor to transfer in. Sydnor took up the offer and again worked on investigating the Barksdale organization.[1]

Season 4

In Season 4, the Major Case Unit was investigating Marlo Stanfield in addition to the Barksdale money trail. With Cedric Daniels promoted to Major, Lester Freamon was the guiding force behind the unit and had hand-picked their shift lieutenant Jimmy Asher, a retiring officer who took a non-interfering approach to the unit's investigations. The money trail led them to major political figures which worried Sydnor. Sydnor personally delivered a subpoena for financial records to State Senator Clayton "Clay" Davis despite worries about how this would impact on his career.[2]

Senator Davis angrily protested the subpoenas to Mayor Clarence Royce who then ordered Commissioner Burrell to rein in the Major Crimes Unit. Deputy Commissioner William Rawls suggested that proper supervision was all the unit needed and replaced Lieutenant Asher with Lieutenant Marimow. Marimow is a caustic commander with a reputation in the department as a "unit killer". Marimow's command style drove away Freamon and Greggs leaving only Sydnor and Massey in the unit. Sydnor decided to leave the unit at the first available opening. With the transfer of Segeant Thomas "Herc" Hauk and Officer Kenneth Dozerman into the unit Sydnor found two allies in his desire to make cases and his dislike for Marimow. The unit was unsuccessful at building a case against Stanfield under Marimow's supervision. Sydnor mentored Dozerman over the course of the season. Sydnor also cautioned Herc on the consequences of lying to Marimow but Herc nevertheless performed several questionable acts while in the unit.

The unit was eventually reconstituted under the control of Freamon after Daniels was promoted to CID colonel. Under Freamon's leadership, Asher was named Lieutenant again, and Jimmy McNulty and Kima Greggs transferred back into the unit. Dozerman remained with the unit while Herc was suspended pending an internal investigations division investigation. As the season ended, a new investigative strategy was mapped out against Marlo Stanfield.

Season 5

After more than a year of investigation into the Stanfield Organization the unit still did not have a strong enough case to file charges. Sydnor faced frustration with budget cuts in the department and eventually the unit was closed down. Sydnor was disappointed to find his work wasted and realized that simply keeping Stanfield under surveillance was effective in reducing crime. Sydnor and Lester Freamon were detailed to the State's Attorney's office to prepare the corruption case against Clay Davis.[3][4] Sydnor and Freamon first prepared the paperwork on Davis and then assisted Rhonda Pearlman in a series of Grand Jury depositions.[5][6][7][8]

Sydnor uncovers evidence of a federal crime committed by Davis when he finds that Davis borrowed money from his mother for a mortgage deposit. Freamon realizes the significance of the crime and knows that it could mean a thirty year penalty. The detectives present the evidence to State's Attorney Rupert Bond and he refuses to take the case federal as he wants to prosecute Davis himself for political reasons.[9] In the series finale, Sydnor visits Judge Daniel Phelan in his chambers to apply back-channel pressure to an investigation, implying that he will follow some of McNulty's tactics to see justice done.


  1. ^ "Org Chart - The Law". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-07-22.  
  2. ^ "Character profile - Detective Leander Sydnor". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-07-22.  
  3. ^ "More with Less". Joe Chappelle, Writ. David Simon (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-06. No. 1, season 5.
  4. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 51 More with Less". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.  
  5. ^ "Unconfirmed Reports". Ernest Dickerson, Writ. William F. Zorzi (story and teleplay), David Simon (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-13. No. 2, season 5.
  6. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 52 Uncomfirmed Reports". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.  
  7. ^ "Not for Attribution". Scott and Joy Kecken, Writ. Chris Collins (story and teleplay), David Simon (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-20. No. 3, season 5.
  8. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 53 Not for Attribution". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.  
  9. ^ "Transitions". Dan Attias, Writ. Ed Burns (story and teleplay), David Simon (story). The Wire. HBO. 2008-01-27. No. 4, season 5.


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