POLICE Magazine

MAR 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

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44 P O L I C E M A R C H 2 019 justification to detain him. Under the present circumstances, however, Bai- ley's detention was not justified under the first interest as he did not pose a risk to the officers once he left the immediate vicinity. e second law enforce- ment interest was based on the fact that occupants who are allowed to roam about during the execu- tion of a search warrant may attempt to obstruct the orderly completion of the search and may try to hide or destroy evidence, seek to distract officers, or get in the way of officers. e Court reiterated that since Bailey had left the premises and the immediate vicinity, he did not pose a threat to the execution of the search warrant and, therefore, his detention was not justified under the second in- terest. Lastly, the third interest addresses law enforcement's interest in prevent- ing the flight of a suspect should the search reveal incriminating evidence. Under Summers, officers may detain occupants at the scene of a search in order to secure the scene and prevent suspects or occupants from potential- ly leaving the scene with evidence. e Supreme Court stated, however, that this interest does not provide officers with an independent justification to detain occupants once they have left the immediate vicinity of the premis- es subject to the search warrant. e Court reasoned that "[t]he need to pre- vent flight, if unbounded, might be used to argue for detention, while a search is underway, of any regular occupant regardless of his or her location at the time of the search." e Court found that these three interests, which justified the deten- tion in Summers, were not applicable to Bailey, and do not apply to the detention of occupants who have left the immediate vicinity of the premises subject to the search warrant. Specifically, the Court held that "[l]imiting the rule in Summers to the area in which an occupant poses a real threat to the safe and efficient exe- cution of a search warrant ensures that the scope of the detention incident to a search is confined to its underlying jus- tification. Once an occupant is beyond the immediate vicinity of the premises to be searched, the search-related law enforcement interests are diminished and the intrusiveness of the detention is more severe." WHAT IT MEANS e Supreme Court did not provide a precise definition of the term "imme- POINT OF L AW The Court said since Bailey had left the premises and the immediate vicinity, he did not pose a threat to the execution of the search warrant. The Court did not provide a precise definition of the term "immediate vicinity" to impart guidance to officers… PHOTO: POLICE FILE

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