We Own This City Miniseries Episode 6: Part Six

There is a scene in Steven Soderbergh’s movie traffic movement It’s where Michael Douglas, who plays the newly appointed head of the President’s Office of National Drug Policy – also known as the “Drug Czar” – meets his predecessor, played by James Brolin. Brolin tells him a story about Nikita Khrushchev writing two letters to his successor, Leonid Brezhnev, after he was forced to step down as leader of the Soviet Union. When Brezhnev was faced with a difficult situation, he advised him to open the first letter, which he told him to “blame everything”, and it would work like a charm. When he got into another situation, he could unlock the second letter, which told him to “write two letters”.

What Douglas has certainly learned while on the job is that the drug war is devastating and unwinnable, a never-ending battle with different government officials doomed to repeat the same mistakes. Change is promised and not delivered, but giving up is not an option, though onions drug win announcement From the drug war about 25 years ago. The best people can do is mitigate the tragedy as much as possible – and that takes a difficult and ultimately hopeful path.

There is a scene in the final angry righteous We own this city, by David Simon This is a transcript of a “two letter” speech, given by the last person we wish to deliver. Throughout the season, Nicole has been working with her student, Ahmed, to write an ordinance of consent for the Baltimore Police Department, intended to address the culture of corruption and brutality that has ostensibly eroded trust between the department and the citizens it serves. Unlike Douglas in traffic movement, naïvely did not arrive at the hard political realities it would have faced in proposing reforms–the hostility of police and soldier unions, the budget priorities of a cash-strapped city, and upcoming changes to the administration of justice under Jeff Sessions. But, in the end, the futility of trying to get rid of these intractable problems arrives at her, and she decides to resign rather than ease her heels for four to eight years, depending on how long the Trump administration will deprive her of civilian power. Law Office.

And so, while she’s gathering her things, Ahmed turns into a mild stroke: Does his counselor end his orientation by telling him that what they’re doing doesn’t matter? Nicole thinks about it and responds, “I’m saying it’s your turn, motherfucker.”

This is Simon-ism, resonating among the protagonists of shows like the wire Or series like kill generation And the Show me a hero. What does a good person do when they seek justice in a fundamentally unfair situation, whether it’s the drug war, the war in Iraq, or detached housing in Yonkers? They can put their heads down and do their jobs to the best of their abilities and possibly make a difference on the sidelines. They may get in trouble drinking or spoil their marriages along the way, and often encounter disappointments, as Nicole does here, when the system crushes their efforts. Others, like Ahmed, will fight the good fight, but they should expect more than small, qualified victories within institutions that will continue to fail.

Suiter takes a different choice. When the FBI questioned him about Jenkins planting drugs in a car after a high-speed chase that resulted in a fatal accident, Suiter had to keep up with the past he thought he had pulled off. The FBI doesn’t think he was the one who did the transplant, but they need him to testify before a grand jury, and his involvement in the whole case will likely cost him his job. Although the show states that Suiter’s real-life cause of death is still officially a murder—it rarely gets footnote headlines long before the episode ends—it supports the findings of an independent investigation suggesting it was a suicide.

It’s a devastating death on two fronts: First, it wouldn’t happen if Jenkins would admit to planting drugs instead of issuing denials. (Which becomes even more insidious when Jenkins leaves him out of his guilty plea after Suiter’s death and he can’t defend himself.) For two, Suiter really feels guilty for doing the wrong thing at the time. He didn’t go the way of another Jenkins recruit, K-Stop, who rejected the “virtual” idea of ​​looting suspects and was quietly turned away from GTTF. His solution was to remain calm and look at the nearest exit, which is understandable but not the noblest way out. The smell of his relationship with Jenkins seems, to FBI agents, relatively light compared to men who actively participated in a criminal scheme. But it’s not easy for Suiter, who seems to have decided he can’t live with the shame. It’s another example of how stealing from alleged criminals wasn’t a victimless crime that GTTF members seemed to believe was.

There’s a lot of dialogue in the dialogue here, a lot of it fed straight through to Nicole’s story because she’s expensive to look at the bigger picture and address the dysfunction that is part of everyday life in the department. This makes a character like Kevin Davis, the commissioner, a valuable piece of the puzzle. Delaney Williams was such a do-nothing police avatar the wire that his intellect and sophistication as Davis’s was a constant surprise; It’s not as if Davis is gentleman to the point of political recklessness, but he is sincere in trying to make progress within budget constraints and his fragile job security. That could lead him to a huge mistake, describing GTTF as an example of high-quality security tuning in the newsletter, but until then, he’s trying to make the change palatable.

As for Jenkins, he’s become a remarkably common villain at that. The main line of dialogue comes in the first scene when he waves his attorney and challenges the potential plea bargain on the table. He told the FBI, “I am one of the most notorious officers in the history of this city. Don’t you find it strange that all of a sudden I became the mastermind of this whole thing?” He meant it as a rhetorical question, but it isn’t really hard to answer at all: “No.” It’s no surprise that the department’s most corrupt officer is corrupt. For a plainclothes work force with no accountability and endless opportunities for criminal corruption, We own this city He argues that it is almost inevitable. And when the new commissioner quietly revives the plainclothes units, the cycle begins again.

It’s your turn, motherfucker.

• “First of all, I’m innocent” is not the best start to negotiate a plea bargain.

• There is more than stupidity and naivety to go along with Jenkins’ arrogance, as first shown in the discussion of the failed lawsuit when he asserted his innocence despite incriminating recordings and “a large number of witnesses”. Then later, he told his lawyer that he would stand on the podium and win, not realizing that nearly all of his subordinates on the task force had already turned against him.

• It is to the mercy of former Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh that her tenure was unraveled and she was sentenced to three years in prison for fraud, tax evasion and conspiracy. You can read about it The whole thing is weird herebut included “self-dealing” in connection with sales of the self-published children’s book series healthy holly.

• “We are the people that the police department hunts, kills and captures. You bring me a piece of paper saying there will be new rules for how we are chased.” Nicole’s conversation with the street poet seems to have been the straw that broke the camel’s back. Whatever partition can not be repaired.

• It might be tough, but nonetheless it’s great to watch Nicole and Ahmed witness how the justice system works when it comes to drug offenders. Only black men, with little or no representation, navigate the system without being heard. Nicole says, “We built this machine with half the country damned, the part with money and power, chew the other half that had nothing to start with. Watch it work. If that’s what we want, Freddy Grays, Eric Garner and Michael Browns are what we get. All A page of every court order we write won’t fix the matter.”