HBO has announced the premiere date for limited series We Own This City and revealed the trailer, which you can watch using the player below. The series will premiere on HBO and HBO Max April 25.
Developed by George Pelecanos and David Simon, and directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green, We Own This City chronicles the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force and the corruption and moral collapse that befell an American city in which the policies of drug prohibition and mass arrest were championed at the expense of actual police work.
Starring Jon Bernthal, Wunmi Mosaku, Jamie Hector and Josh Charles, We Own This City debuts Monday, April 25 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT) and is executive produced by George Pelecanos, David Simon, Reinaldo Marcus Green, Nina K. Noble, Ed Burns, and Kary Antholis.
For We Own This City, acclaimed director Reinaldo Marcus Green (King Richard) joined a team who twenty years ago created HBO’s groundbreaking series The Wire.
Along with executive producers Pelecanos, Simon, Noble and Burns, and co-executive producer William F. Zorzi, We Own This City brings together much of the talent from that iconic series, both on the crew and on screen, where viewers will recognize numerous The Wire cast members.
They are led by Jamie Hector, Darrell Britt-Gibson, Domenick Lombardozzi, Trey Chaney, Delaney Williams, Jermaine Crawford, Anwan Glover, Chris Clanton, Nathan Corbett, Maria Broom, Susan Rome and Michael Salconi.
Other lead cast members, previously announced, include McKinley Belcher III, Dagmara Domińczyk, Rob Brown, Don Harvey, David Corenswet, Larry Mitchell, Ian Duff and Lucas Van Engen. Character descriptions can be found below.
This reunion first started when Pelecanos was approached by Antholis, who described the basic premise of the Gun Trace Task Force scandal and the possibility of adapting Justin Fenton’s non-fiction book We Own This City (buy at Amazon) for television. After reading the manuscript, Pelecanos invited his longtime partners, The Wire creator, David Simon, and executive producer, Nina K. Noble, to the project.
As We Own This City depicts the Baltimore Police Department, the connective tissue between the shows goes beyond the creative teams and the city of Baltimore. While The Wire was a fictional story, it was speaking to the issues in policing stemming from the drug war heading into the turn of the century and the 2000s. But We Own This City deals with the next generation of the drug war.
In the 2000s, the Baltimore Police Department struggled to respond to crime with meaningful police work, giving itself over to mass arrest and drug warring instead.
We Own This City shows how the department’s desperate reliance on statistics over substance eventually led to the inability of department officials to supervise the Gun Trace Task Force and the further inability of the department to discipline rogue police.
At the time of the GTTF scandal in 2017, though there were numerous indications of corruption within several plainclothes units going back almost a decade, Baltimore police commanders held to the belief that any street unit that could bring in guns and drugs consistently had to be championed and protected. The series depicts the inevitable corruption of a unit given this carte blanche.
WE OWN THIS CITY EPISODES & CHARACTER DESCRIPTIONS
Episode 1 “Part One”
Debut Date: MONDAY, APRIL 25 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT)
Momodu Gondo (McKinley Belcher III) finds himself in an interrogation. A detective in a nearby county traces a string of overdoses to Baltimore.
Written by George Pelecanos & David Simon; Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Episode 2 “Part Two”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 2 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT)
Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) learns stark truths about policing as a new officer. Rayam (Darrell Britt-Gibson) opens up about the GTTF. Suiter (Jamie Hector) is assigned to a new murder case.
Written by Ed Burns & William F. Zorzi; Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Episode 3 “Part Three”
Debut Date: MONDAY, MAY 9 (9:00-10:00 pm ET/PT)
Despite numerous complaints, Hersl (Josh Charles) is placed on the GTTF. Jensen (Dagmara Domińczyk) monitors Gondo’s (McKinley Belcher III) calls. Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) brings Suiter (Jamie Hector) along on a raid.
Written by D Watkins; Directed by Reinaldo Marcus Green.
Synopses for #104-106 are forthcoming.
Jon Bernthal as Sgt. Wayne Jenkins of the Baltimore Police Department, perhaps the central figure in the sprawling federal corruption case that centered on the agency’s Gun Trace Task Force, a plainclothes unit that went completely rogue and began hunting and robbing citizens and drug dealers alike as decades of a relentless drug war and mass incarceration in Baltimore spun wildly out of control.
Wunmi Mosaku as Nicole Steele, an attorney assigned to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which was investigating policing practices in Baltimore prior to the Gun Trace Task Force criminal investigation. Focused on creating a voluntary, monitored federal consent decree aimed at reform, Steele’s work centers on the systemic reasons police corruption and bad behavior are excused by Baltimore City prosecutors, judges and the police department itself.
Jamie Hector as Sean M. Suiter, a Baltimore City Homicide detective who was caught up in the GTTF case and called to testify before a federal grand jury. Tragically, Suiter finds he can’t outrun his past.
McKinley Belcher III as Momodu “G Money” Gondo, an 11-year BPD veteran and member of the Gun Trace Task Force, implicated in robberies, overtime fraud and other corrupt acts. He was involved in protecting a heroin operation run by Antonio “Brill” Shropshire. Gondo served as an information line and protector to Shropshire, and took little effort to hide this connection.
Darrell Britt-Gibson as Jemell Rayam, one of the most brazen offenders caught up in the GTTF probe. Rayam committed racketeering, extortion, overtime fraud, robberies and unlawful detainments; entered residences without a warrant; and was involved in three shootings that resulted in one fatality. Over the years, he was targeted in multiple investigations by the Internal Affairs Department but suffered few consequences.
Josh Charles as Daniel Hersl, a cocky, swaggering cop known amongst Baltimore residents for his casual brutality and was the subject of multiple citizen complaints. Hersl was effectively banned from the Eastern District before his move to the GTTF.
Dagmara Domińczyk as Erika Jensen, a New York native who, compelled by the 9-11 terrorism to join the Bureau, conducted the federal investigation into the corrupt GTTF officers along with Task Force Officer John Sieracki.
Rob Brown as Maurice Ward, another plainclothesman with the Gun Trace Task Force, who participated in many of the robberies, thefts and illegal activities of the unit, but was bothered by that participation throughout, sometimes tossing away the proceeds from the crimes. When confronted by the federal investigation and charged with the rest of the unit, he was among the first to cooperate unequivocally with prosecutors.
Don Harvey as John Sieracki, a second-generation city cop assigned to the public corruption task force and working out of the FBI’s office in Woodlawn. Sieracki provided the federal investigation key knowledge of the BPD and access to its databases.
David Corenswet as David McDougall, a veteran investigator with the Harford County Narcotics Task Force. McDougall and Detective Scott Kilpatrick, his colleague in neighboring Baltimore County’s Narcotics Unit, began the casework on drug overdoses that set the GTTF probe in motion.
Larry Mitchell as Scott Kilpatrick, a veteran investigator with the Baltimore County Narcotics Task Force. Kilpatrick and Detective David McDougall, his colleague in neighboring Harford County’s Narcotics Unit, began the casework on drug overdoses that set the GTTF probe in motion.
Ian Duff as Ahmed Jackson, a former D.O.J. trial attorney who is tired of criminal prosecutions and transferred to the Office of Civil Rights. Jackson is newly assigned to Nicole Steele’s team and is mentored by her as they investigate the systemic policing issues in Baltimore.
Delaney Williams as Kevin Davis, the Police Commissioner hired after the unrest following Freddie Gray’s death, who is caught between the proverbial rock and several hard places, unable to reform the Baltimore City police department and please City Hall, community leaders, the police union, and his rank and file officers.
Lucas Van Engen as Leo Wise, a veteran federal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Baltimore and the lead prosecutor assigned to the Gun Trace Task Force case.
Mirko Parlevliet has been reporting on the entertainment industry since 1998 and founded Vital Thrills in 2018 to cover the latest streaming, movie, TV, and video game news. Mirko previously created the websites ComingSoon, Spider-Man Hype!, SuperHeroHype and ShockTillYouDrop.