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we own this city : Sean Suiter is considered the most tragic character of the show .

This piece is inspired by a series of Pulitzer Prize-winning articles by David Simon, the creator of HBO’s show “The Wire”. As a result of these articles and other stories, people across the country have invested more time into understanding Baltimore and its problems . Many of them have traveled to Baltimore and met with local activists, pastors, and public figures (such as DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett). Many others have taken to the streets to confront police violence and racism in their own cities. We are justifiably inspired by our own movements, which have made it more difficult for politicians to stay silent.

What is the plot of the story ?

“We Own This City” is inspired by the story of Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. As far as we know, every single member of Gun Trace Task Force was convicted on racketeering charges (with sentences ranging from 7-20 years). “We Own This City” is inspired by the fact that these officers’ convictions have done nothing to reduce police violence in Baltimore : they are still being arrested and killed at alarmingly high rates.

Who is in the cast ? What role did each character portray ?

The cast include Jon Bernthal , Jamie Hector , Michael B. Jordan , Wesley Snipes , Nnamdi Asomugha , Wendell Pierce , and Nia Long . Jon Bernthal will play an officer from the elite Gun Trace Task Force. The character is based on Melvin Russell, a Baltimore Police Department officer who was convicted of racketeering charges. Jamie Hector will play Deputy Commissioner of the Baltimore Police Department Kevin Davis, who is currently serving as the department’s chief operating officer. The character is based on Kevin Harris, who was fired after leaking information about police misconduct to the media.

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What are the difficulties they face ?

These difficulties represent the difficulties that many Black people in Baltimore face on a daily basis. As we have noted earlier, the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force made more than 1100 arrests during their tenure. Due to their criminal convictions, the Baltimore Police Department could not continue employing them. As a result, they are not employed. As we have also noted earlier, Baltimore has an alarmingly high number of police shootings each year.  It shown in the graphs above, these shootings have reduced overtime money available for patrolling and other activities.


What are the themes ?

The themes are the same as in our previous works : police violence, corruption, and drugs. We could not talk about these themes without talking about Baltimore’s history of segregation and capitalist development. For example, the character “Nick Sobotka” (Kevin Bernthal) was modeled after Melvin Russell. During their second stint on Baltimore’s Eastern District Drug Enforcement Unit, Russell and his partner decided to stop focusing on drug cases because they simply did not have enough time to make arrests.

Who is the antagonist ? What are its motives ?

The antagonist is the character “Captain Donald Crutchfield” (Nia Long). The character was based on the real-life Captain Dwayne K. Crutchfield. Captain Crutchfield was the highest-ranking officer from Baltimore’s elite Gun Trace Task Force to be convicted of racketeering charges . Because his conviction did not result in his removal from office, he currently remains in a leadership position in the Baltimore Police Department. In other words, we believe that Captain Dwayne K. Crutchfield is the antagonist of this work.

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What are the epic scenes ?

The epic scenes are the scenes that we hope to find and create in our own communities. We hope that these scenes will help us in our daily lives and  also encourage us to take action. Each of the selected events from history represented a significant part of Baltimore’s history. For example, “Nathaniel Belotti” (Wendell Pierce) was inspired by a real-life officer who defended Black people from police abuse by using his union clout .

Would you recommend watching this ?

If you feel that the general public should learn about Baltimore’s history, then we would recommend watching “We Own This City”. If you are already aware of Baltimore’s history, then we would recommend watching it . Thanks for reading !


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