Wendell Pierce, the New Orleans-born actor known for his work in the HBO series “The Wire” and “Treme,” was arrested Saturday in Atlanta after he was accused of attacking a Bernie Sanders supporter, according to the website TMZ and online Fulton County police records.
Pierce was at the Loews Hotel in Atlanta about 3:30 a.m. when he began a political discussion with the woman and her boyfriend, according to the celebrity news website.
TMZ said a hotel source reported that Pierce, a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, grabbed the woman’s hair and slapped her in the head after learning she preferred Clinton’s Democratic rival, Bernie Sanders.
On Sunday, the Atlanta Police Department confirmed that Pierce had been arrested at that hotel, where he was staying as a guest.
“The incident did not rise to anything significant, so no special notification was made … it was treated like any other arrest a patrol officer conducts,” police spokesman Donald Hannah told WWL-TV in an email shared with The New Orleans Advocate. “Mr. Pierce made no indication he was famous, nor did the officer inquire.”
Police records show Pierce, 52, was booked and released on Saturday. He was booked on simple battery and posted an online bond of $1,000, the records indicate.
Pierce, who now lives in Pasadena, California, was raised in Pontchartrain Park, the first African-American postwar suburb in New Orleans, and was active in efforts to rebuild it after Hurricane Katrina.
The actor and producer has been in more than 30 films and nearly 50 television shows and has performed in numerous stage productions, including Broadway productions of “The Piano Lesson,” “Serious Money” and “The Boys of Winter.”
He is perhaps best known for his roles as Detective Bunk Moreland in “The Wire,” trombonist Antoine Batiste in “Treme” and Michael Davenport in the movie “Waiting to Exhale.”
Pierce has long been an avid supporter of the Democratic Party. In 2012, he was one of President Barack Obama’s top campaign fundraisers, bringing in about $500,000 along with actor Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Eva Longoria and film producer Harvey Weinstein, according to an Associated Press story from 2013.
During this election cycle, Pierce has been a staunch Hillary Clinton backer.
“#HillaryClinton speech was a clarity of purpose, a clarity of the platform and policies,” the actor posted on Twitter in April.
He’s also taken to social media to express his views about Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who Pierce said in May would “destroy the US economy in an instant and destabilize global markets.”
Pierce did not respond to The New Orleans Advocate’s request for comment Sunday.