We Own This City Episode 1 Recap – The Gun Trace Task Force of the Baltimore Police Department tries to do its job while navigating the city’s corruption.
Sergeant Wayne Jenkins (Jon Bernthal), as young beat police, terrorises a street-corner wino for sport, while series director Reinaldo Marcus Green splices in the film of Black men on the streets of Baltimore being roughed up and arrested en masse. Bernthal is a remarkable performer; his portrayal as tennis instructor Rick Macci in Green’s King Richard is one of many highlights, and he gives Jenkins the swaggering arrogance of a cop’s cop who understands the system works in his favour and can be easily exploited.
When he gives an official speech about police brutality or the efficiency of his Gun Trace Track Force (GTTF) at a time when arrests are down, and crime rates are on the up, he’s totally convincing. On the job, he’s also a cock-of-the-walk, glad-handing his way through the office and riling up his guys on the street. Until the unexpected moment when it doesn’t, his word has prevailed.
The true story of the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force is told in ‘We Own This City.’ The criminal drama series is based on Justin Fenton’s nonfiction book of the same name, which was published in 2021. David Simon and George Pelecanos (‘The Wire‘) created it for television. The first episode, titled ‘Part One,’ introduces viewers to Sergeant Wayne Jenkins and other officers of the Boston Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force who are involved in illicit acts and corruption.
Meanwhile, Nicole Steele, an attorney with the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division, conducts an investigation against BPD officers after multiple complaints are submitted about their behaviour.
Here’s everything you need to know about HBO ‘We Own This City’ episode 1 if you want to catch up on the events of the show and learn more about how it ends!
We Own This City Episode 1 ‘Part One’ Recap
Sergeant Wayne Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) gives a lecture to members of the BPD Academy in the first episode of the series, which premiered in 2017. Jenkins is adamant that the law allows police officers to be harsher on the streets and, if necessary, cruel. He instructs the trainees to look for situations that may lead them to narcotics and weapons, allowing them to defend their actions.
The scene then moves to an interrogation room, where FBI Agent Erika Jensen converses with Momodu “G Money” Gondo, a member of the Boston Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. Jensen questions Gondo about his ties to cocaine trafficking and Wayne Jenkins.
Jenkins led a GTTF raid at Collington Square in 2017. Jenkins receives accolades after the cops confiscate some drugs and multiple firearms from the scene. Jensen grills Gondo in the interrogation chamber about Antonio Shropshire and his ties to the criminal underworld.
Before meeting Shropshire, Gondo admits to being involved in robberies. In 2015, David McDougall of the Harford County Narcotics Task Force investigated a heroin trafficking ring. McDougall is led to Aaron Anderson, who they suspect is a crucial figure in the scam, by a bust.
Meanwhile, Ahmed Jackson meets Nicole Steele, an attorney from the Office of Civil Rights, and the two begin working on an investigation of the city’s police officers. She said the Office of Civil Rights had received multiple complaints from police officers alleging excessive roughness. McDougall’s crew locates Anderson using automobile trackers, but the BPD is also on the lookout for the criminal.
McDougall informs the FBI after becoming suspicious of the tracker issue. Steele’s investigation reveals Daniel Hersl, a member of the GTTF who has been accused of excessive roughness and is the subject of multiple complaints. Steele meets with the Police Commissioner and tries to figure out why Hersl and his techniques haven’t been sanctioned.
Why Is Wayne Jenkins Arrested in We Own This City Episode 1?
Wayne Jenkins holds a meeting with the BPD’s higher authorities in the episode’s final act. Jenkins and the board are debating the city’s crime rate as well as the GTTF’s role in reducing gun and drug-related violence.
While higher officials feel the BPD’s arrests have decreased while crime has increased in the city, Jenkins claims the GTTF’s arrest figures have increased. Jenkins is unrepentant about his and his team’s tactics, and he believes they are successfully reducing crime on Baltimore’s streets.
Jenkins is summoned to BPD headquarters to resolve a minor issue in the episode’s concluding moments. Jenkins is captured by the FBI as soon as he disarms himself and enters the building. While the reason for Jenkins’ arrest is not revealed in the episode, it is most likely related to the BPD’s pursuit of Aaron Anderson.
Jenkins, like Gondo, is a corrupt officer in the GTTF, and his illicit actions will be uncovered shortly, according to the episode’s conclusion. Jenkins, however, does not flinch when he is detained, surprising the Police Commissioner and implying that he does not believe he did anything wrong during his time as a cop.
Throughout the show, Jenkins brags about his overly aggressive strategy to investigating and arresting suspected criminals. Everything about Jenkins suggests that he believes himself indefensible and above the law, from his nickname “Superman” to his unashamed attitude toward police work.
As a result, the episode’s conclusion marks the beginning of Jenkins’ and the GTTF’s demise.
Watch the ‘We Own This City’ ‘Part One’ on HBO.