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All About Organized Crime’s Ill-Fated Detective, Samir Bashir, Played by Abubakr Ali

Samir Bashir was much-loved by his colleagues at the time he was killed. But at least one detective wasn't initially happy about his promotion and move to the Organized Crime Control Bureau.

By Elisabeth Ford

The task force at the center of Law and Order: Organized Crime got a new member in Season 4 — and not everyone on the squad was initially happy about it. 

How to Watch

Watch Law & Order: Organized Crime on NBC and Peacock.

But by the time Det. Samir Bashir (Abubakr Ali) was killed off later in the season, he had earned the respect of his colleagues.

Some of the detectives with the Organized Crime Control Bureau learned the news that Bashir was joining their squad in Season 4, Episode 4 of the show, at the same time viewers did. 

The revelation was made as the team went over the latest details in the ongoing case they'd been working on, involving the Los Santos gang, who Det. Elliot Stabler (Christopher Meloni) described as “the top fentanyl distributers on the Eastern Seaboard."

RELATED: A Detective Was Killed on Organized Crime — And Stabler Buried the Body

In Episode 4, Stabler explained to the team that a widow of a Los Santos member killed during a police operation had agreed to testify against the gang. 

Sgt. Ayanna Bell (Danielle Moné Truitt) then told the group, which included detectives Jet Slootmaekers (Ainsley Seiger) and Bobby Reyes (Rick Gonzalez): "We need to keep her and her two children safe until the morning. Then, state troopers will arrive, pick them up and escort them to D.C., where she will testify in front of a grand jury."

Detective Bobby Reyes in a scene from Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Det. Bobby Reyes wasn't initially happy that Bashir joined the Organized Crime Control Bureau

Reyes — who had been put on desk duty earlier in Season 4 by Bell after the weight of his affair with Jet led to him being overly-aggressive with a suspected criminal during an undercover operation — then rose from the desk he was sitting on and announced, "Alright, let’s get going."

Bell, who had already made clear that Reyes was to remain off the street until he handled his issues, responded: "Where are you going? You’re not going nowhere. You’re working remote backup.”

RELATED: Jet and Reyes Revealed the Shocking Way Their Affair Began on Organized Crime

Reyes wasn't about to give up, and said, “It sounds like you’re gonna need all the help you can get on this one.”

Then, Stabler revealed: “We have Detective Bashir.”

Caught off guard, a confused Reyes asked: “Detective?”

Bell explained, “I asked that Sam be bumped up to join our team. Promotion came through this morning.”

While Jet looked at Bashir and muttered “Congrats," Reyes just looked at the floor and nodded before glaring at Bell and Stabler and then walking away.

Officer Samir Bashir (Abubakr Ali) appears in Season 4 Episode 4 of Law & Order: Organized Crime

Who was Organized Crime detective, Samir Bashir?

Before being promoted to detective in Season 4, Episode 4, Bashir was introduced to viewers in the season's second episode as a police officer in the NYPD's hate crimes unit. Bashir came to Organized Crime Control Bureau members looking for help after the killing of an imam he knew, and four others, in what was initially thought to be a bombing at a mosque. As it turned out, the imam was killed in a targeted shooting before the bomb went off that killed the others.

Bashir, who had ties to the community and whose wife was next door in the community center at the time of the bombing, helped with the case. Bashir said that his informant, who was later revealed to be his wife, told him that there had been violence in his community from a gang with ties to Kabul.

In the third episode of Season 4, Stabler and Bashir investigated the disappearance of a father and son from the community. They discovered that the imam’s murder was to cover up evidence that a refugee charity was a mask for an illegal smuggling ring, which the missing father was a part of against his will.

In the end, Stabler and Bashir found the father and son and took out some of the criminals involved.

Bashir was a recurring character on Organized Crime until he was killed off later in Season 4.

RELATED: Stabler’s Voicemail to Benson in the Organized Crime Premiere Will Hurt Your Heart

Law And Order Organized Crime Elliot Stabler

Who is Abubakr Ali?

Born in Egypt and raised in Pasadena, California, according to the New York Times, the Law and Order: Organized Crime actor was previously best known for his starring role in the Billy Porter-directed coming-of-age rom-com Anything's Possible, which debuted on Amazon Prime Video in 2022.

“I had never in my life seen a script where someone like me, or from my background, is a lead, period,” Ali told the Times in 2022.

Detective Bobby Reyes (Rick Gonzalez) and Detective Jamie Whelan (Brent Antonello) in a scene from Law & Order: Organized Crime.

Why did Det. Bobby Reyes initially resent Samir Bashir?

While it wasn't explained why Reyes seemed upset at Bell and Stabler's announcement that Bashir was joining their unit, Reyes previously showed some animosity toward Bashir in Season 4, Episode 3.

At the time, Stabler asked Reyes what was going on with him after noticing he'd been acting odd. "This guy just waltzes in here and you just hand him the keys,” Reyes told Stabler of Bashir.

Stabler responded with, "Look, we’re just torturing ourselves letting that desk sit empty," referring to the work station of Det Jamie Whelan (Brent Antonello), who died at the end of Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 3. "And honestly, I blame myself for letting it go on this long.”

Reyes, who was devastated at the loss of Whelan, replied: “It’s not that easy for me to just let go."

 RELATED: Stabler Had an Explosive Intervention with His Brother About Drugs on Organized Crime

Elliot Stabler sits with his arms crossed in a scene from Law & Order: Organized Crime Season 4 Episode 10

What happened to Organized Crime Det. Samir Bashir?

In Season 4, Episode 9, Detective Bashir went missing while Stabler was undercover at a honey farm on Staten Island that distributed heroin. Bashir's wife came to the OCCB squad's office to inform his co-workers, "Sam is missing. I think something’s happened to him.”

The squad discovered that Bashir was last publicly seen at a bakery in Queens, where he asked an employee there about heroin, and that he later met with two men who forced Bashir into an SUV. 

At the end of that episode, Stabler was told by those at the honey farm to help out with something, and found himself in the back of a pickup truck with a body. 

In Season 4, Episode 10, it was revealed that the body was Bashir's, as Stabler had flashbacks to moments with the detective as he was forced to bury his body. 

Since he was still undercover at the honey farm and under constant watch by the military veterans at the farm, Stabler had to break the news of Bashir's death to his squad by getting word out for one of them to join him at support group meeting for vets. When Bell showed up at the meeting, posing as a struggling war vet, Stabler told a story that made it clear Bashir was dead, saying, "We don’t know how or when, but one of our members was killed, and I was the one who found him."

To keep up with the other detectives on Law & Order: Organized Crime, watch the show Thursdays at 10/9c p.m. on NBC or stream episodes the next day on Peacock.

Originally published Feb 8, 2024.