United States v. Reddick

Blytheville police responded to a call. The suspect fled his vehicle on foot. A crowd gathered. While Officer Dannar was securing the scene, a man (Reddick) approached. Dannar told him to stop, stating, “the car, you’re not getting it.” Dannar later explained past experiences where persons who have no legitimate interest in a vehicle falsely claim ownership. Reddick did not remove his hands from his large, bulky coat pockets. Sgt. St. Laurent arrived and approached Reddick, who was standing slightly outside the crime scene with his hands in his pockets. St. Laurent thought Reddick was “evasive.” Reddick claimed not to have any identification on him. In response to St. Laurent's repeated requests to remove his hands from his pockets, Reddick would briefly comply but kept placing them back in his pockets. St. Laurent later testified that those carrying a weapon will frequently touch it. St. Laurent announced that he would pat Reddick down as a safety precaution and asked whether he had anything on him that an officer should know about. Reddick hesitated before saying, “No.” As Reddick turned around, his coat swung out, leading St. Laurent to believe that something of some substance was in Reddick’s pocket. St. Laurent found a .38 caliber revolver. The Eighth Circuit affirmed the denial of a motion to suppress and Reddick’s conviction as a felon in possession of a firearm. The officer conducted a valid “Terry” stop; the circumstances met the threshold minimal level of justification and supported the officers' reasonable suspicion that Reddick was engaged in criminal activity. View "United States v. Reddick" on Justia Law