United States v. Morgan, No. 16-5015 (10th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Patrolling a high-crime area in Tulsa, Oklahoma, an officer saw a man riding a bicycle against traffic and not using a bicycle headlight, in violation of Tulsa’s traffic law. Unknown to the officer, the bicyclist was Phillip Morgan, who had a string of felony convictions: (1) unlawful possession of a firearm and ammunition, (2) accessory after the fact to first-degree murder, (3) unlawful possession of a controlled drug, and (4) unlawful possession with intent to distribute a controlled drug. After a lawful traffic stop, an officer has authority to order a driver and passengers from a car. The issue presented here was whether an officer has authority to order a person to step off his bicycle after a lawful traffic stop. Under the circumstances of this case, the Tenth Circuit held that the officer had that authority.