United States v. Gallman, No. 21-2294 (3d Cir. 2023)Annotate this Case
Philadelphia officers Kling and Nestel stopped Gallman for running a stop sign and recovered a firearm from Gallman’s passenger. Officer Rosinski moved Gallman to the patrol car. Kling discovered a firearm near Gallman's driver’s seat. Gallman, previously convicted of first-degree robbery, was charged with possession of a firearm by a felon, and unsuccessfully moved to suppress the evidence. During the hearing, the government informed the court that there was an open Internal Affairs Division (IAD) investigation about Rosinski’s failure to call a supervisor to a traffic stop. The government also supplied an IAD memorandum regarding a racial profiling complaint against Rosinski and Stout, who was also present at the Gallman stop. That matter was closed before Gallman’s arrest; the allegation was unfounded.
Following COVID-19 protocol, Gallman's trial was conducted in one courtroom and video-streamed to another where the public and Gallman’s family were seated. Outside the presence of the jury, the court asked Gallman whether he wanted to stipulate his prior conviction and discussed the pending Rosinski IAD investigation.
The Third Circuit affirmed Gallman’s conviction. Closing the video stream during the sessions away from the jury did not constitute reversible error; it was not “clear under current law” that the Sixth Amendment public-trial right applied to those proceedings. The closures here were brief and resulted from pandemic protocol challenges rather than any substantive decision. Some of the topics discussed were also discussed in open court. Nor did the court abuse its discretion in admitting evidence of Gallman’s prior conviction.