BALTIMORE (WJZ) — In a four-minute video to BPD staff, Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison addressed the premiere of HBO’s “We Own This City,” a mini-series on the corrupt Gun Trace Task Force.
Harrison said he has not seen any of the six-episode series and does not know how the department will be portrayed.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: Cool & Cloudy With Some Sunshine
The show, which premiered Monday, tells the story of corruption in the unit, whose officers were convicted of racketeering, armed robbery, selling drugs, falsifying overtime and planting evidence on suspects they arrested.
“The type of behavior exhibited by the GTTF should never have been allowed to occur,” Harrison says in the video edited with music. “The old ways, the wrong ways, which allowed for misconduct and unconstitutional policing to grow and fester within the department, are not and will not be a part of the department moving forward.”
Harrison points to what he calls real change in the police department since the city entered into a consent decree with the Department of Justice.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve had a show like this and we know these things happen, right? This isn’t a fairy tale,” Mayor Scott told WJZ Tuesday when asked about the city’s image impact from the show. “We know the GTTF, [the plainclothes Violent Crimes Impact Division], we know members were out there supposedly to take away the most violent criminals and they became them themselves.”READ MORE: Baltimore Teen Co-Hosts Season Of PBS NewsHour Podcast On Youth Mental Health
Actor Josh Charles told WJZ earlier this month the story highlights the people working to fix issues plaguing the city.
“Yes, we’re telling a part of the story,” Charles, a Baltimore native, said. “But there’s many good people in this story that are fighting to bring out the truth, do the right thing.”
Journalist Justin Fenton, who wrote the book “We Own This City” on which the HBO show is based, said the fallout from the Gun Trace Task Force continues.
“How has the police department changed? Have they got a handle on this type of thing? And how has that changed the way they police the city?” Fenton asks. “The story’s definitely not over.”MORE NEWS: Olszewski Reaffirms Support For Hyatt, Says He's Open To 'Productive Dialogue' On Additional Support For Officers
The HBO mini-series runs a new episode weekly through the end of May.