A man appealed from the order of the Supreme Court, which after a hearing granted the man’s set of motion to suppress physical evidence.
A New York Drug Crime Lawyer said the relevant facts brought forward at the suppression proceedings claims that the housing police officer saw a man and another male making an exchange of money for an unknown substance while patrolling in a radio motor patrol vehicle in the vicinity of a playground known as a location for drug crime activity.
The police officer over the course of the previous year and one-half had made 10 to 15 arrests involving narcotics. The officer continued to observe the man for another three to five minutes as he spoke with two or three other males. The officer noticed that the man was continually grabbing a bulge in his left side of his jacket. The officer did not otherwise describe the bulge. The officer called for assistance and then approached the man stating he wanted to speak to him. Apparently, the man immediately fled. The officer however chased the man on foot while his partner followed in a patrol vehicle. After about three blocks, the officer managed to stop the man, whereupon the man reached into his left jacket pocket where the officer had observed the bulge. The officer drew his service revolver and ordered the man to remove his hand from his pocket and put his hands against a wall. A New York Criminal Lawyer said a search to the man produced a loaded .38 caliber revolver and eight vials of crack cocaine.
Based on records, the Supreme Court erred in granting suppression of the physical evidence recovered from the man. The man’s conduct in a location known for drug crime activity in the early hours of the morning provided the necessary objective and credible reason to warrant the officer’s approach to the man in a noncoercive fashion in order to implement the common-law right of inquiry. A Nassau County Criminal Lawyer said the man’s abrupt action upon the approach of the police coupled with the officer’s other observations gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that the man had committed or was committing a crime so as to warrant the greater level of imposition inherent in pursuit by the police. Moreover, when the officer observed the man reaching toward the bulge in his pocket, the officer was justified in conducting a limited pat-down search of the man to allay his fears for his own safety. The possible cause to arrest the man existed upon the discovery of a firearm and the crack cocaine possession. Therefore, the physical evidence was not obtained as a result of illegal police conduct and the hearing court erred in granting suppression.
The judge concluded, as does the majority and as did the hearing court, that the housing police officer’s observations at a location known for drug activity in the early morning hours provided him with the objective and credible reason necessary to warrant the exercise of his common-law right of inquiry. A Queens Criminal Lawyer however, after the trial court’s determination, the judge with his view that the trial court correctly found that the man’s action in implementing his constitutional right not to respond to the officer’s inquiry and to take flight did not provide the missing element of reasonable suspicion of the man being engaged in a criminal activity to justify pursuing him. The judge also stated that there is nothing to establish that a crime has been or is being committed. The man’s flight and refusal to answer, is an inadequate basis for seizure or for the limited detention that is involved in chase.
Consequently, the court’s order to reverse the man’s set of motion which was to suppress physical evidence is denied, and the matter is remitted to the Supreme Court for further proceedings.
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