HBO’s ‘We Own This City’ shines a light on Baltimore’s notorious Gun Trace Task Force and the corrupt police officers that used their position to enrich themselves. Over many years and a slew of instances, the show pieces together the insidious rise of corruption in the police department. Parallelly, the subsequent investigation into the said officers reveals some gritty details of all the smaller crimes they committed under the guise of law enforcement.
Episode 4 depicts a particularly queasy incident where Sergeant Wayne Jenkins actually steals from a stripper before driving away with his colleagues. Considering the show portrays a lot of incidents that went down in real life, let’s see if this particular debacle actually happened.
What Exactly Happened Between Wayne Jenkins and the Stripper?
The show draws from Baltimore Sun reporter Justin Fenton’s book ‘We Own This City: A True Story of Crime, Cops, and Corruption.’ In it, the author distills hundreds of interviews, court documents, and interviews into a detailed report of the troubled Baltimore Police Department and the corrupt officers that were members of the Gun Trace Task Force. Thus, many of the grimy smaller crimes committed by particular police officers are also detailed in the book and the subsequent series.
Thus, the incident wherein Sergeant Wayne Jenkins (pictured above) of the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) stole money from a stripper actually occurred. It happened in the spring of 2015, in the aftermath of another criminal seizure carried out in what could be called some of the criminal officers’ modus operandi. Sergeant Wayne Jenkins, along with Detectives Marcus Taylor and Maurice Ward, intercepted a drug deal at the Belvedere Towers in Baltimore and seized about 20 to 25 pounds of marijuana as well as $20,000 to $25,000 in a second bag.
Claiming to be a DEA agent, Jenkins then confiscated the drugs and money but did not arrest the dealers. However, he did say that he reserved the right to arrest them in the future. Jenkins then drove the officers to a park, where all three of them walked into a wooded area after leaving their police radios and cellphones behind in the car. Jenkins then allegedly gave $5000 each to Taylor and Ward. According to reports, when the latter asked Jenkins what he would do with the marijuana, the Sergeant said he would burn it.
Robbing a stripper among the new allegations against Sgt. Jenkins, who supervised the Gun Trace Task Force pic.twitter.com/RiqOKcdlcj
— Justin Fenton (@justin_fenton) July 6, 2017
Afterward, the three police officials went to a strip club in Baltimore County. Here, after getting a lap dance, Jenkins reportedly went to his car with the same woman and robbed her. Prosecutors brought this incident up in the indictment against Jenkins and some of his fellow officers. The series, of course, makes a small change in the events and sees Jenkins going into a back room with the stripper instead of to his car. However, much of what is depicted is largely accurate, and the incident of Wayne Jenkins stealing from a stripper is actually true.