Sean Suiter Was About to Testify Against His Fellow Cops. Then He Wound Up Dead.

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The Slow Hustle exists at the intersection of true crime and social justice documentaries, concerned as it is with a fatal mystery wrapped up in an epidemic of police corruption. Debuting on Dec. 7 on HBO, The Wire actress Sonja Sohn’s sophomore directorial effort is, like 2017’s Baltimore Rising, a story about racial unrest and institutional misconduct in Baltimore, all of it once again revolving around dirty cops and a dead Black man. However, in this particular instance, the dynamics at play aren’t quite as clear-cut as that description makes them sound.

At the center of The Slow Hustle is Baltimore Police Department detective Sean Suiter. On Nov. 15, 2017, Suiter was accompanying his rookie partner David Bomenka on an assignment when he allegedly spotted a suspicious figure in an alleyway in the city’s Harlem Park neighborhood. With Bomenka around the corner, Suiter approached this figure, shots rang out, and Bomenka raced to the scene, where—as frantic bodycam footage illustrates—he found Suiter lying dead from a gunshot wound to the head. With no reliable eyewitnesses to the crime, a harried if largely clueless search ensued, most of it predicated on a generic description of a Black man in a dark jacket with a white stripe. The results of this quest were predictably meager, and it wasn’t long before pressure began to mount on Commissioner Kevin Davis—from both the public and the mayor—to find the assailant who killed this heroic cop in the line of duty.

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