|First appearance||"The Target" (episode 1.01)|
|Last appearance||"Final Grades" (episode 4.13)|
|Created by||David Simon|
|Portrayed by||J.D. Williams|
James (brother, deceased)
Preston "Bodie" Broadus is a fictional character on the HBO drama series The Wire, played by actor J. D. Williams. Bodie is initially a rough, low-level drug dealer, but matures throughout the series and slowly rises through the ranks. Bodie is an intelligent and disciplined lieutenant, showing strong loyalty to the Barksdale Organization even after most of its members get imprisoned or killed. Bodie is a relatively goodhearted character who sticks to his principles, but at times he can be violent, such as when he takes part in the murder of a friend and fellow dealer on orders from Stringer Bell. His relationship with the police is also dynamic. He is initially hostile towards all police, but eventually earns the respect of Officer Jimmy McNulty.
Preston "Bodie" Broadus was raised by his grandmother after his mother fell into addiction and homelessness, dying when he was four years old. Bodie's grandmother says that when she took him in, "he was only four, but even then, I knew he was angry." He began working with the Barksdales at age 13. His older brother James was also a gangster, but was killed early in Bodie's life, depriving him of immediate familial support.
Bodie, aged 16, worked under D'Angelo Barksdale 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 drug addict Johnny Weeks after he buys heroin from them with fake money. 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. Later, Bodie punched Detective Mahon while being searched. Bodie received a beating for this, from Detectives Hauk, Greggs and Carver. He was arrested, but almost immediately after arriving at a juvenile detention facility, he walked out, stole a car, and was soon back in Baltimore 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 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 Barksdale 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. Poot then takes the gun and finishes Wallace off. After the arrest of his one-time mentor and crew chief D'Angelo, Bodie's leadership skills shone 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 Philadelphia, 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 Stringer enters a deal with Proposition Joe, to give away some of Barksdale territory for Proposition's Joe's superior heroin, Bodie tries to find new territory and steals it from another crew. This results in the other crew starting 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 detectives Ed Norris and Ray Cole in connection with the crime. They attempted to bluff a confession out of him, but he saw through their trick and was released.
The Franklin Towers were demolished and Avon Barksdale was released from prison. Western District Major 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 and Pearlman no choice but to let him go. He also helped 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 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.
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 territories. His newest crew included his second in command Curtis "Lex" Anderson, Little Kevin and Reesy; he employed Namond Brice as a runner out of respect for his father's reputation, despite Namond's poor attitude and lack of street skills. He tried to tempt 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 a good drug market. Chris Partlow and Marlo noticed this and offered Bodie an ultimatum: let Marlo's operation take over the corner by force, or remain but work Marlo's less profitable heroin package. Bodie had no muscle in his crew, and even after seeking out Slim Charles was still enraged to submit. He ultimately agrees to selling the package offered by Marlo after realizing that he would receive no support in defying Marlo.
In a fit of romantic jealousy, Bodie's subordinate, Lex murdered his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend: a Stanfield dealer known as Fruit. In retribution, Stanfield enforcers 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 to the letter. Bodie felt that Marlo was violating the rules of the drug trade, yet he was unaware of Little Kevin's betrayal of Lex. 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 betrayal, whereas Marlo's murders were on the basis of ruthless killings. After Little Kevin's body was discovered, Bodie was arrested for kicking in the windows of a police car in rage; he was responsible for advising Little Kevin to go see Marlo after the latter asked for his audience. 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 Monk, 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 and Spider when Chris and Snoop set up an ambush. Bodie decides to take a last stand, causing an unarmed Spider to retreat. Throughout the fourth season, Chris and Snoop murder various people by taking them into abandoned houses. All of the victims put up a minimal fight and are dispatched with ease. Bodie decides to be the sole exception to this and shouts "you ain't putting me in one of them empty ass houses neither". Poot tries to reason with Bodie but Bodie shakes his head, realizing that he is ready to die for what he believes in. After Poot realizes he cannot convince him otherwise, he retreats. Shortly after Poot's departure, while Bodie is still focused on Chris and Snoop, O-Dog emerges from a doorway behind Bodie and shoots him twice in the head, killing him. When McNulty later asks Poot who had killed Bodie, Poot stated that he held McNulty responsible for his friend's murder since it happened after Marlo's lieutenant saw Bodie and McNulty together.
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 catch Marlo and end his violent ways.
Judging by his age at the start of the series, Bodie was around 20 years old when he was killed.