Ed Norris’ career arc was dazzling.
He spent 20 years as a crime-fighting savant with the New York Police Department, rising from beat cop to deputy commissioner of operations at age 36. As police commissioner of Baltimore, he breathed life into a demoralized force that lowered the city’s infamous homicide count for the first time in a decade. After the 911 attacks, he took over the Maryland State Police and pushed innovative anti-terrorism strategies that made him a national leader in the field.
At the University of Virginia, they taught a graduate course about how his leadership techniques transformed one of the most violent cities in the country.
He was the golden boy of law enforcement, a brash, larger-than-life figure with a taste for fine restaurants, bespoke clothing and fast motorcycles.
Then it all came crashing down.
An investigation into a little-known police expense account morphed into what many felt was a politically-motivated hit job by federal prosecutors. Corruption charges were spiced with lurid allegations of pricey dinners with women and gifts purchased at Victoria’s Secret. Ed Norris protested his innocence, but landed in federal prison. Thus began the hellish ordeal that ultimately cost him his livelihood, reputation, health and marriage.
This is the incredible story of America’s most promising cop, the dark forces that brought him down and his long, emotional journey back from the abyss.