State v. JohnsonAnnotate this Case
While FBI task-force officers were looking to execute an arrest warrant for Shane Thompson, the officers saw Defendant Robert Johnson walking on a sidewalk. After requesting identification, the officers searched Johnson and discovered marijuana and crack cocaine. Johnson was charged with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. Johnson filed a motion to suppress, arguing there was a lack of reasonable suspicion to detain him. The district court denied the motion after listening to testimony describing the similarities between Defendant and Thompson. Johnson was convicted of the charges. The court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed and vacated Defendant's sentences, holding that Johnson was illegally seized because (1) the State failed to meet its burden to show that it was reasonable for the officers to rely on a face sheet in detaining Defendant; and (2) detaining Defendant because he shared the generic common features with Thompson of being a black male with facial hair was not, without more, sufficient to give officers reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.