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Baltimore, 2015. Riots were erupting across the city as citizens demanded justice for Freddie Gray, a twenty-five-year-old black man who died in police custody. At the same time, drug and violent crime were once again surging.
For years, Sgt Wayne Jenkins and his team of plain-clothed officers - the Gun Trace Task Force - were the city's lauded and decorated heroes. But all the while they had been skimming from the drug busts they made, pocketing thousands in cash found in private homes and planting fake evidence to throw Internal Affairs off their scent. Because who would believe the dealers, the smugglers or people who had simply been going about their daily business over the word of the city's elite task force?
Now, in light of their spectacular trial of late 2018, and in a work of astounding reportage and painstaking self-discovery, Justin Fenton has pieced together a shocking story of systemic corruption.
'In We Own This City, Justin Fenton has produced a work of journalism that not only chronicles the rise and fall of a corrupt police unit, but can stand as the inevitable coda to the half-century of disaster that is the American drug war.' David Simon
'Impossible to put down and impossible to forget once finished. If you're wondering why the US is in the midst of protests and riots, read this book. I couldn't recommend it more highly.' Willy Vlautin
'Masterful account of how police corruption takes root, in a Baltimore plagued by crooked cops, oblivious leaders, and beleaguered citizens. The scandal at its heart is shocking in the sheer scope of its venality, and Fenton’s years of reporting lays it bare in novelistic, riveting detail. This is a writer with a singular command of his story, spinning a dark tale so deftly that it’s impossible to look away.' Evan Ratliff, author of THE MASTERMIND
'A tale of chaos and corruption, We Own This City is a meticulously researched account in which one of our foremost criminal justice reporters unwinds one of the biggest scandals in the history of American policing. . . Justin Fenton has chosen to walk us through it, revealing the rot inside of a department, and the context by which we begin to understand the protests still raging in American streets.' Wesley Lowery, author of THEY CAN'T KILL US ALL