‘We Own This City’: Inside the Timeline for the Show

HBO‘s latest series, We Own The City, is the brainchild of The Wire creator David Simon. Based on true events, the story centers on a major scandal in the Baltimore Police Department, one that has prompted calls for police reform and showcased how power in the wrong hands can bring an entire city to the brink.

Take a look at the timeline of the series.

Jon Bernthal as Wayne Jenkins in a purple prison jumpsuit and handcuffs in 'We Own This City'
Jon Bernthal as Wayne Jenkins in ‘We Own This City’ | HBO

HBO’s ‘We Own The City’ is based on a true story

In 2017, the Baltimore Police Department saw one of the biggest scandals of a generation involving the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF). In 2021, Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton published his book, We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption about the scandal.

“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,” HBO said in a statement. “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. WE OWN THIS CITY depicts the inevitable corruption of a unit given this carte blanche.”

‘We Own This City’s intricate timeline

We Own The City, begins in 2015 just after the death of Freddie Gray, and runs through 2017 when the officers are arrested. This means that it takes place approximately seven years following the events of The Wire. The complex drama is something fans definitely have to pay close attention to since the timeline across the six episodes isn’t exactly linear.

However, one easy way the pieces come together in We Own the City is through the “run sheets” that the officers fill out and date orienting the audience in the year. Run sheets account for the days and dates of police actions.

Additionally, there are some much early moments presented on the screen which present officer Wayne Jenkins (Jon Bernthal) during his rookie does some 20 years in the past. These are most notable since Bernthal, who potrays the officer is sporting a clean-shaven face during these clips.

Here’s what happened to the eight GTTF officers who were convicted

According to TIME Magazine, the eight members of the Gun Trace Task Force that were bought up on charges were Thomas Allers, Wayne Jenkins, Momodu Gondo, Evodio Hendrix, Jemell Rayam, Maurice Ward, Daniel Hersl, and Marcus Taylor. The majority of the officers pled guilty to the various crimes they were charged with. They received sentences ranging from seven to 12 years in prison. However, Hersl and Taylor pled not guilty. Still, both were convicted in 2018 receiving 18-year prison sentences.

Jenkins who was seen as the leader at GTTF was pled guilty to various charges including, racketeering, robbery, and falsification of records. He received the longest sentence of 25-years in prison.

“This is not about aggressive policing, it is a criminal conspiracy,” Rod Rosenstein, the former US Attorney for Maryland said in 2017 via The Washington Post. “These are really simply robberies by people wearing police uniforms.”

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