For his next HBO series,The Wire creator David Simon is returning to Baltimore to tell the story of a corrupt Baltimore crime task force. Entitled We Own This City, the limited series is an adaptation of investigative journalist Justin Fenton’s book We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops and Corruption.
We Own the City is set in Baltimore in 2015, as protestors demand justice for the suspicious death of 25-year-old African-American Freddie Gray while in police custody. In response to mounting pressure from the mayor’s office and a federal investigation over Gray’s death, the police department turned to Sergeant Wayne Jenkins and his elite plainclothes Gun Trace Task Force to help get guns and drugs off the street.
Jenkins used this power to exploit the city, skimming from drug busts, pocketing thousands in cash found in private homes, and planting fake evidence to throw Internal Affairs off their scent. As Jenkins and his plainclothes unit went unchecked, there were countless wrongful convictions, the death of an innocent civilian, and the mysterious killing of one cop who was shot in the head — just a day before he was scheduled to testify against the unit.
Simon is writing and executive producing We Own This City alongside George Pelecanos. HBO’s former President of Miniseries Kary Antholis also executive produces through his Crime Story Media.
Last year, Simon premiered his HBO miniseries, The Plot Against America, based on Philip Roth’s novel of the same name. Simon and Pelecanos most recently teamed for HBO’s The Deuce from 2017-2019.