‘We Own This City’ Episode 5: Recap And Ending Explained – Was The Consent Decree Agreed Upon?


“We Own This City” Episode 5, the second last episode of the HBO miniseries, follows the interrogations conducted by the federal agents along with the proposal of a consent decree after the Department of Justice studied the questionable conduct of the Baltimore police. Sean Suitor, who used to work for the GTTF and later worked for the Homicide department, continues to be an important figure in the series. Gradually, the members of the GTTF started to steal money from each other; it eventually became an individual pursuit where each tried to make a better cut than the rest. Even though they did work together, the money was not necessarily split equally, and Jenkins was the man who earned the most.

Episode 5: Recap Summary

“We Own This City” Episode 5 begins with Gondo and Rayam sharing their version of the truth with the federal agents. While Rayam blamed Gondo for selling drugs to his friend, Brill, Gondo stated it was Rayam who had connections with the underworld. Even though the two were the best of friends, after their arrest, they did not try to stay loyal to each other. Rayam had a history of shooting three civilians within a year, and the department, including the current deputy police commissioner, helped Rayam come up with an excuse for his behavior. He was sent on a paid suspension for two years, and when he returned, he was made a member of the Gun Trace Task Force. It was as if he was being rewarded for all that he had done.

Along with the members of the GTTF confessing their crimes, Nicole Steele (attorney of the Civil Rights Division of the DOJ) worked on a report investigating the accusations against the Baltimore Police Department. With her time spent on the case, she learned how civilians were harassed by the police. They were robbed of their belongings and were accused of petty crimes. After discussing the matter with James Otis, a civilian who accused the police of robbery, she realized how it was planned. After arresting the civilian, the state prosecutor made him sign a form that waived his right to sue city police for false arrest. In exchange, they threw away the charges against him on the spot. This was why the case never reached the court, though James filed a complaint against the police after the incident. He did not get back the money that was stolen from him by Hersl. The city police were infamous for robbing civilians, and as a result, the civilians lost their faith in the police.

After a thorough investigation by Nichole Steele, “We Own This City” Episode 5 primarily focused on the formation of the consent decree after a thorough investigation by Nichole Steele. Along with the discussion of a few of the vast list of robberies the police were involved in. The GTTF, under the leadership of Wayne Jenkins, was notorious for filing overtime when they barely worked. This was another corruption that the members were involved in.

‘We Own This City’ Episode 5: Ending Explained – Was The Consent Decree Agreed Upon? 

The Consent Decree was formulated by the Department of Justice after investigating the patterns and practices of the police. The conduct by the police violated the first, fourth, and fourteenth amendments to the United States Constitution. The consent decree was an agreement that legally bound the Baltimore City Police to resolve the complaints against police that the DOJ had found in their report. 

Nicole Steele and Ahmed Jackson discussed the importance of bringing the consent decree to action immediately since they believed that if Trump was inaugurated, the sessions would not allow any consent decree anywhere. While most agreed on the importance of introducing it before Trump came into power, some objected to it. The mayor showed her interest, but she was also warned against the expense of putting into action the consent decree. The Police Commissioner came in support of the decree; he believed it to be a tool for reform. Funding the decree became a major problem since an increase in the police budget to accommodate the consent decree was not what everyone agreed upon. It ultimately came down to the police commissioner, Kevin Davis, to find the money in the existing budget by making significant cuts in police expenditure.

While the Department of Justice worked towards the implementation of the consent decree, the federal agents made their final decision to arrest the members of the GTTF. The news of the arrest was watched by BPD, including Sean Suitor. He went into a state of haze after watching the news. After all, he used to be a part of the force at one point in time. He had always spoken against the GTTF after working with the team. He was at peace working in the homicide department, but the news of their arrest left an unsettling impact on him. The memories of working as a plainclothes officer resurfaced. He worked with Jenkins, and during his time spent with the team, he had to be a part of their dishonest means. Kevin Davis, after their arrest, remarked that this was an end to plainclothes policing. He described the men arrested as 1930s-style gangsters who did whatever they pleased. What was all the more surprising is that Jenkins, Gondo, and Rayam were aware that they were being investigated by the federal agents. Rayam even discussed with Gondo how the federal agents were primarily suspecting Gondo because of his expensive lifestyle. Gondo replied that the case was not similar to Pablo Escobar’s; even if they were being investigated, they were police at the end of the day. Even after knowing the risks of their actions, they continued with their corrupt ways, aiming to earn as much money as possible before it all came to an end.

At the end of “We Own This City,” Episode 5, Sean wakes up from his sleep and looks out of the window at the rainy weather. The news of the arrest kept him awake. He was part of the GTTF when a civilian was killed after Jenkins started chasing a car, which he believed had drugs. He was the one who found the drugs that were planted by Sgt. Allers. Though Sean always spoke against the GTTF and the way it functioned, it was not known how involved he was in their operations when he was a part of it. Sean always faced a moral dilemma when it came to the way Jenkins functioned. Therefore, even if he was not involved in their activities during his time, there was the guilt of not doing anything about it.

See More: ‘We Own This City’ Ending, Explained: Was Sean Suitor Murdered?

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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