Is 'That Pure Potato'
Executive produced by George Pelecanos (The Deuce) and David Simon (The Wire) -- and based on the book by Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton -- We Own This City is a six-hour, limited series chronicling the rise and fall of the Baltimore Police Department's Gun Trace Task Force. It examines 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.
The cast includes Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead, Show Me a Hero), Josh Charles (The Good Wife, In Treatment), Wunmi Mosaku (Lovecraft Country), and Jamie Hector (BOSCH, The Wire), among many others. See the full cast here.
Pelecanos and Simon also serve as writers, along with director and executive producer Reinaldo Marcus Green. They are joined by longtime collaborators Nina K. Noble as executive producer, and Ed Burns as writer/executive producer. HBO alum Kary Antholis also serves as executive producer; Bill Zorzi as writer/co-executive producer, and D. Watkins as writer.
Cast & Characters
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Chris Clanton as Brian Hairston, a Baltimore cop who isn’t afraid to speak up when he sees police misconduct or unsound strategies.
David Simon returning to Baltimore. Based on real events. Some recognizable faces from The Wire return for roles.
There's also a podcast to follow for those into the story:
The official podcast of the HBO Original Limited Series, We Own This City. Over six episodes, host D. Watkins will share his experiences in and out of the writers’ room and speak to the people who brought this story to the screen, including executive producers George Pelecanos and David Simon, actor
I thought the first episode assumed the viewer had a lot familiarity with the book / story, as they don't spend a great amount of time with exposition or setting up any cliffhangers. But it's good crime drama, with shades of The Wire at times.