Saturday, May 7, 2022

Round Two: We Own This City

We Own This City: Season 1, Episode 2 “Part Two” (B+)

There’s a lot going on in this show, and it’s interesting to see it from so many perspectives and different time periods. It was unsettling to start with Jenkins bragging that he wouldn’t be there long and threatening those who continued to try to take him down, and while Jemell was completely upfront in his interviews about what he did, he was also explicit about the pervasive influence of a man like Jenkins who scared everyone else into noncooperation. If Jenkins isn’t the most dangerous person because he at least puts on the appearance of being a team player and wanting to spend time with others – whether or not that’s the case – Hersl is definitely toxic, and it was impressive that Nicole chose to approach him directly in a bar. He was unexpectedly cordial at first before things turned sour, but he’s someone smart enough to know what he can’t and can’t do and evidently is aware of how to get around consequences for his repeated actions. Hearing about the incredible incompetence of Internal Affairs and their policy for suspending and then reinstating corrupt officers is extremely disturbing, as is the idea of having to sign a waiver agreeing not to sue the city following an arrest that should never have happened in the first place. Digging into all of this and trying to put it all together really is daunting, since many would surely look at it and say that the system is far too broken to be fixed, giving rise to increasing calls to abolish rather than to defund the police.

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