Washington v. StateAnnotate this Case
In this case considering whether unprovoked flight in a high-crime area should no longer be considered a factor that gives rise to rebate articulable suspicion for a Terry stop, the Court of Appeals held that, under the totality of the circumstances, Defendant's rights under either the Fourth Amendment or Article 26 of the Maryland Declaration of Rights were not violated.
Defendant, who was standing in an high-crime area in Baltimore City, fled when he saw an unmarked vehicle. Ultimately, detectives stopped Defendant and found a gun in his waistband. Defendant filed a motion to suppress, arguing that the detectives lacked reasonable suspicion to stop him based solely on his unprovoked flight in a high-crime area. The Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the motion, holding that, under under the totality of the circumstances analysis, a court may consider whether unprovoked flight is an indication of criminal activity that, together with evidence of a high-crime area and any other relevant factors, establishes reasonable suspicion for a stop, or whether unprovoked flight, under the circumstances of the case, is a factor consistent with innocence that adds little or nothing to the reasonable suspicion analysis.