United States v. Yancey, No. 18-2935 (7th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
During a Rock Island, Illinois traffic stop, two officers were arresting the driver of a vehicle on an outstanding warrant, when they recognized defendant Yancey, the passenger. Based on their past interactions with Yancey, and their familiarity with a contact sheet labeling him as potentially armed, the officers decided to pat him down for weapons. Before they could do so, Yancey ran. The officers tackled him and saw a handgun sticking out of his waistband. Yancey was subsequently convicted of felony possession of a firearm. Yancey claimed that police lacked justification to keep him from leaving the scene. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, Under Supreme Court precedent, police officers can detain passengers in a car while a stop is ongoing if they have a lawful reason to seize the driver. The officers lawfully stopped the car in which Yancey rode as a passenger and that stop was still lawfully ongoing when Yancey tried to flee; it was not unreasonable for the officers to detain him.