United States v. Brown, No. 17-30191 (9th Cir. 2019)Annotate this Case
The Ninth Circuit reversed the district court's order denying defendant's motion to suppress evidence. In this case, a police officer spotted defendant, a black man, who was on foot, and then activated their lights and pursued him by car. The officers did not order or otherwise signal to defendant to stop and he reacted by running for about a block before the officers stopped him at gunpoint.
The panel held that the officers lacked reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was afoot before stopping and frisking defendant where there was no reliable tip, no reported criminal activity, no threat of harm, no suggestion that the area was known for high crime or narcotics, no command to stop, and no requirement to even speak with the police. The panel noted that it was particularly hesitant to allow flight to carry the day in authorizing a stop.