We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption in an American City

Justin Fenton. Random House, $28 (352p) ISBN 978-0-593-13366-8
Baltimore Sun reporter Fenton, whose coverage of the Baltimore riots that followed the death of Freddie Gray led to a Pulitzer Prize nomination, debuts with a searing look at that city’s recent police corruption scandal. The Baltimore PD’s Gun Trace Task Force was created in 2007 to make the streets safer by clamping down on guns and drugs; instead, under the crooked leadership of Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, Fenton writes, the task force members became criminals themselves—committing robberies, dealing narcotics, engaging in overtime fraud, and planting or misappropriating evidence. People of color were stopped and harassed on false pretexts by task force members, fostering community distrust of the police at a time when Fenton believed an increase in violent crime meant that ethical policing was more needed than ever. Jenkins and his crew were federally indicted in 2017, and, subsequently, all seven members of the GTTF were convicted of crimes including racketeering, robbery, illegal searches and seizures, and drug dealing. Fenton’s detailed narrative makes the tragic consequences of the GTTF’s graft palpable. Fans of TV series such as Homicide: Life on the Street and The Wire based on journalist David Simon’s groundbreaking coverage of Baltimore will be engrossed. Agent: Rafe Sagalyn, ICM Partners. (Feb.)
Reviewed on : 11/30/2020
Release date: 02/23/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-593-13367-5
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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