Perhaps January 24, 2009 was a normal day for Joseph Edwards. He woke, tied some crack cocaine around his penis, threatened his ex-girlfriend with a gun, and went out into the Baltimore night.
His ex-girlfriend, however, had complained to the police about his threat. The police began to prepare an arrest warrant and went into the streets to look for Mr. Edwards. Around 11 p.m., the officers found him.
The police officers asked Mr. Edwards to approach them. He did, calmly. He “looked like he was just walking down the street” according to the officers. He didn’t act like a man with a gun – he wasn’t fussing with his waistline. He also didn’t look like he was involved in drug dealing; the officers didn’t see him doing any hand-to-hand transactions before they called out to him.