Kima Greggs

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Shakima Greggs
The Wire Kima.jpg
First appearance"The Target" (2002)
Last appearance"–30–" (2008)
Created byDavid Simon
Portrayed bySonja Sohn
OccupationBaltimore Police Detective
Spouse(s)Cheryl (former)
ChildrenElijah (son)
RelativesMoney Bags

Shakima "Kima" Greggs is a fictional character on the HBO drama The Wire, played by actress Sonja Sohn. Greggs is a determined and capable police detective in the Baltimore Police Department. Openly lesbian, she often displays a hardened, cynical demeanor[1][2], and has had problems with infidelity, alcohol, and relationships.[3] She plays a key role in all of the police's main cases.


Season 1[edit]

Kima is a narcotics detective working alongside Herc and Carver, under the command of Cedric Daniels in Major Foerster's narcotics division. She outshines her colleagues on several occasions, getting high esteem from them due to her abilities. She cultivates a relationship with Bubbles, a drug addict, who becomes a useful contact due to his extraordinary memory for faces. Kima lives with her partner Cheryl, a broadcast journalist. Kima is studying pre-law, after being pressured to do so by Cheryl.

Kima gets assigned the task of putting a file together on the Barksdale organization in the controversy generated by the acquittal of D'Angelo Barksdale. She is then assigned to the Barksdale detail and made lead detective by Daniels. Kima manages to obtain invaluable information from Bubbles, who correctly identified Barksdale Organization members on the street and worked out the methods of their operation. Over the course of the investigation, Kima befriends fellow detail investigator Jimmy McNulty and introduces him to Bubbles. When Bubbles confirms to McNulty that Kima is lesbian, McNulty compliments, claiming the only other competent female detective he has ever worked with was also lesbian. They spend hours together in surveillance and put in more time trying to track down the legendary stick-up man Omar Little. They manage to get Omar's attention after he gets into a war with the Barksdale organization, during which Omar's lover and stick-up partner is murdered, and get him to testify against Barksdale soldier Bird for the murder of William Gant.

Kima manages to secure a second useful confidential informant while working with Lester Freamon. They persuade D'Angelo's new girlfriend Shardene Innes to turn against him by providing her with evidence that the Barksdale crew are responsible for the death of a friend of hers while she was working as a hostess at Orlando's, a strip club and front for the Barksdale organization.

Kima is shot and critically wounded in an undercover buy bust operation ordered by Deputy Commissioner Ervin Burrell. The sting relies on Wendell "Orlando" Blocker, a front man for the Barksdale organization and license holder for Orlando's. Orlando has been arrested by narcotics police and turned over to the Barksdale detail when they diligently check to see if any of the names Orlando has given them are under investigation. Orlando gets killed in the failed sting and Kima is shot before she can grab the gun she had hidden in the vehicle they were using. By the time her backup arrive on the scene the shooters have fled. The Barksdale detail's wiretaps identify the shooters as Savino, Wee-Bey and Little Man. Both Savino and Wee-Bey are arrested, while Little Man is killed by Wee-Bey on Avon's orders before the police can grab him.

Originally, the writers of The Wire planned for Greggs to be killed rather than wounded in the first season. Carolyn Strauss, the president of HBO Entertainment at the time, prevailed upon David Simon to keep the character around; in her opinion, Greggs was a great character and having her alive would open more possibilities in later seasons.[4]

Season 2[edit]

Upon recovery, Kima takes up a desk job in the narcotics unit, at the request of Cheryl, who fears her getting injured again and hopes to start a family. Greggs gets regularly teased by Herc and misses the action of street work.

She joins the investigation of Frank Sobotka under Daniels at his request. Her return to street duty causes major friction between herself and Cheryl, now pregnant with a child.

Greggs works with Roland Pryzbylewski to investigate the vice aspects of the smuggling ring linked to Sobotka. They locate a brothel operating out of a high class apartment building using women illegally brought into the country and held like prisoners. Shardene proves useful in providing links to the exotic dancing world that point them towards the whorehouse. Cheryl insists on accompanying Kima to the strip clubs, showing a jealous streak. When Kima shows Cheryl photos of the girls killed in a failed attempt to smuggle them into the country Cheryl begins to be more understanding. Cheryl also makes a decision to become pregnant through artificial insemination this season and asks for Kima's support in raising the child. Kima however is not interested in parenting and only goes through reluctantly.

Later McNulty rejoins the team and Kima works with him to infiltrate the apartment building by setting him up as a potential customer. Their hard work results in the arrest of the madam and other members of the detail solve the deaths of the other girls.

Kima moves on to trying to investigate the leaders of the smuggling ring but the detail finds the trail run dry just as they are closing on "The Greek" and his lieutenant Spiros Vondas.

Bubbles gets arrested by Santangelo near the end of Sobotka case and he calls on his connection to Kima to get out of trouble. He turns Kima and McNulty onto investigating the link between East side drug kingpin Proposition Joe and their old target Stringer Bell. Kima and McNulty soon get photos of the two meeting together.[5][6]

Season 3[edit]

Kima continues to work for the now firmly established Major Crimes Unit, still working for Daniels. The unit initially tries to build a case against Proposition Joe. They find that they made little progress through their wiretaps because the key members of Joe's organization do not talk on the phone. The case breaks down when the detail arrests Joe's nephew Cheese on suspicion of murder due to misunderstanding a tapped conversation in which he was talking about putting down his pet dog. With Proposition Joe aware of the wiretaps, Daniels decides that the unit has to move on.

Kima becomes something of a rogue element alongside McNulty. The two pursue the Barksdale organization even when the unit is supposed to be focused on Park Heights drug dealer Kintel Williamson. Lester becomes exasperated with Greggs' lack of respect for Daniels. Greggs also becomes dissatisfied with her personal life now that Cheryl has had her baby and is starting to cheat on her. Kima goes so far as to admit that she only agreed on the baby as a means of appeasing Cheryl. Eventually Kima admits that she has made a mistake and the two reconciled.

The Barksdales become involved in a turf war with Marlo Stanfield, and with intervention from McNulty, the unit shifts their focus back to them. The unit infiltrates the Barksdale organization with wiretaps and had many of their key players tied in a case including Stringer. Stringer is murdered before the Major Crimes Unit can arrest him, having been given up by Avon to Brother Mouzone and Omar as their friendship broke down. Avon gets arrested, but on the basis of a tip Stringer had made to Major Colvin, rather than the unit's casework. At the close of the season Daniels gets promoted to Major and left the unit.[7]

Season 4[edit]

Kima and Freamon became the de facto leaders of the unit now that Daniels has been promoted to Major for the Western District. Their new commander Lieutenant Jimmy Asher is a friend of Lester's, and is a lenient commander focused on his retirement and building a beach house. As a result, Asher does not mind what they do, leaving them to go about the investigation without any chain of command interference. As elections approach, Lester picks up the investigation of the Barksdale money trail and serves subpoenas for financial records on many high-ranking political figures. Kima is responsible for delivering the subpoena to campaign fundraiser Andy Krawczyk. Lester convinces his team that they ought to be protected from politicians under close scrutiny at election time.

The unit focuses on Marlo Stanfield's organization now that he has control of West Baltimore. They quickly gather probable cause for wiretaps on key Stanfield lieutenants Fruit and Monk Metcalf. Fruit gets murdered but Bunk Moreland from homicide faithfully delivers his cellphone to the unit allowing them to establish more of the Stanfield network. Kima is carrying out surveillance on Old Face Andre, a drug dealer supplied by Marlo. She notices that his re-supply is delivered to his convenience store. The detail feels they are making progress when they record Marlo talking to Andre on Monk's phone. Kima recognizes the sound of gunshots in the background; maybe the sound of target practice, and wonders why would Marlo's crew be taking shooting practice.

Because of the subpoenas, Commissioner Ervin Burrell is threatened by Mayor Clarence Royce for trying to charge his campaign fundraisers weeks before the election. Deputy Commissioner William Rawls suggests that the problem be solved by giving the unit "proper supervision". This involves removing Asher and replacing him with the hostile Lieutenant Charles Marimow. Marimow orders the unit to stop investigating the Barksdale money trail and to close down their investigation of Marlo. Marimow reasons that they should be making faster cases against street level dealers tied to violence. Dismayed at this change in direction, Kima decides to transfer out of the unit. She goes to Daniels to ask for a position in the Western District. Daniels insists that Kima is too skilled an investigator for district work but offers to help her move laterally. By calling in a favor with Rawls, he is able to get Kima transferred to Homicide.

Kima and Lester are transferred into Jay Landsman's squad. She faces merciless teasing from her colleagues. She is further embarrassed when she is ordered to take over the Braddock case - an investigation of a murdered state's witness - because of political pressure to slow the investigation. A further indignity occurs when the story of the reassignment is leaked to the press and the original investigator, Ed Norris, is reassigned as the primary. Kima, Norris and Landsman are forced to attend a press conference intended to defuse the story with the facade that Kima and Norris were working together all along. When Kima and Norris attempt to interview a prisoner who claims to have information about the shooting, their investigation is again scuppered by Rawls, who orders Landsman to detail the two to uniform duty at a polling station. Rawls explains to Landsman that whichever way the case goes, it will hurt the chances of one of the mayoral candidates who are neck and neck in the polls. After the election, Kima is able to proceed with the investigation. She interviews the main suspect in the case but comes to the conclusion that he is innocent. Kima then picks out a detail in the case which leads her back to the crime scene, where she spots a ricochet mark in a nearby brick wall. Kima realizes that Braddock was killed accidentally by a stray bullet and was not murdered.

In Episode 9, Kima's paycheck reveals her address as 847 North Calvert Street, No. 3, in Mount Vernon neighborhood, although the zip code of 21218 would place the address further north, on 33rd Street near the former Memorial Stadium site. Her bi-weekly pay, including the substantial overtime from two major cases, is $2,521.53.

When she's quietly sounded out by Lester as to how she's enjoying working homicide, Kima tells him she's loving it, causing Lester to move along without offering her a position on the newly restructured Major Crimes Unit. However, after witnessing Bubbles, her former CI, recovering from an attempted suicide Kima appears to have a change of heart and at the end of the season is seen back with the old unit once more.

Season 5[edit]

The reconstituted Major Crimes Unit spends a year investigating the Stanfield Organization and their potential links to the vacant house murders. Kima is frustrated when financial problems at city hall lead to withholding of the department's overtime pay. Eventually the major crimes unit is closed down by Mayor Tommy Carcetti and Kima is transferred back into the homicide unit.[8][9]

Kima is assigned as the primary investigator on a home invasion and triple homicide. The murder has been committed by Chris Partlow and Snoop on Marlo's orders, and the victims are a drug dealer named Junebug, his partner and his bodyguard. Junebug's two children are witnesses to the crime. One child has fled the scene but Kima finds the other still hiding in the closet. She arranges for the child to be taken in by social services. Kima and her partner on the case, Michael Crutchfield, recognize that the killings are professional in nature because of the disabling of security cameras outside the house and the pattern of the wounds.[10][11] Continuing budget constraints mean that Crutchfield is quickly taken off the case and Kima is left to work alone.[12][13] Kima visits the child witness to try to get a statement but the child remains withdrawn. Kima decides to try and reconnect with Cheryl and her son Elijah and arranges to babysit while Cheryl is at work. Initially Elijah ignores her, but unlike her child witness, she is able to engage him into building legos with her.[14]

After McNulty confesses to Kima that he has created the fake serial killer, Kima was stunned and angry about the deception and waste of resources.[15] She reports McNulty and Lester to Daniels, which led to the end of their careers in the Police Department. At McNulty and Lester's 'wake' commemorating the end of their police careers, Kima arrives late and admits to them both that she blew the whistle. McNulty says she did the right thing and shakes hands with her before going home, and Lester invites her into the bar to drink with him and his former colleagues. Kima is last seen on a homicide call with Bunk, enjoying lighthearted conversation with him that echoes Bunk's earlier conversations with McNulty.[16]

A major alliance in previous seasons, Kima and Bubbles do not come in contact with each other after Bubbles decided to pursue a full rehabilitation following the events of season 4. No longer an informant, Bubbles achieves a full rehabilitation and reconciles with his sister.


  1. ^ "Walking in Someone Else's City: The Wire and The Limits of Empathy (page 5)".
  2. ^ "The Wire - High Visibility". Reverse Shot.
  3. ^ "Revisiting 'The Wire' Characters Part 29 - Kima Greggs". Hardwood and Hollywood.
  4. ^ Abrams, Jonathan (2018). All the Pieces Matter. Crown Archetype. p. 30-31. ISBN 978-0-451-49814-4.
  5. ^ Dan Kois (2004). "Everything you were afraid to ask about "The Wire"". Archived from the original on 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2006-07-12.
  6. ^ "Character profile - Detective Shakima "Kima" Greggs". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
  7. ^ "Org Chart - The Law". HBO. 2004. Retrieved 2006-07-22.
  8. ^ Joe Chappelle (director); David Simon (story and teleplay), Ed Burns (story) (2008-01-06). "More with Less". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 1. HBO.
  9. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 51 More with Less". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  10. ^ Ernest Dickerson (director); William F. Zorzi (story and teleplay), David Simon (story) (2008-01-13). "Unconfirmed Reports". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 2. HBO.
  11. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 52 Uncomfirmed Reports". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  12. ^ Scott and Joy Kecken (directors); Chris Collins (story and teleplay), David Simon (story) (2008-01-20). "Not for Attribution". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 3. HBO.
  13. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 53 Not for Attribution". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-22.
  14. ^ Dan Attias (director); Ed Burns (story and teleplay), David Simon (story) (2008-01-27). "Transitions". The Wire. Season 5. Episode 4. HBO.
  15. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 58 Clarifications". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  16. ^ "The Wire episode guide - episode 60 -30-". HBO. 2008. Retrieved 2008-06-30.