POLICE Magazine

JUN 2019

Magazine for police and law enforcement

Issue link: https://policemag.epubxp.com/i/1129771

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Page 111 of 124

P O L I C E M AG .C O M 109 probable cause to initiate a consensual citizen contact. However, once the citi- zen's liberty is restrained or we prevent the citizen from walking away, we need sufficient facts to form reasonable sus- picion that a crime is or has been com- mitted. Here, the officer argued that the call from the off-duty officer, omas' "blading," and prior burglaries in the area supported reasonable suspicion. e court disagreed. Reviewing the dashboard camera footage, the court agreed with the trial court that a jury could reasonably find otherwise, stating: At the very least, a jury could watch omas's behavior and disagree with Danzy that the objective officer would perceive furtiveness and reasonably suspect criminality or dangerousness. Walking away from a consensual con- versation with an officer is not in itself enough to justif y reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, why call it consensual? It is for the jury to decide if they believe that the objective officer would share Dan- zy's interpretation of what looks like "a permissible walk away from a police officer." Lacking reasonable suspicion to con- duct the stop in the first place, the de- fendant officer could not avail himself of the state immunity protections for the use of less-lethal force during the initial stop. is case will go back to the trial court where the reasonableness of the officer's initial stop may be left to the jury. As we have seen in many of our past cases, video footage continues to play a pivotal role in either supporting or not supporting the officer's version of the facts. As the court stated here – It has long been clearly established that an officer needs evidence of crimi- nality or dangerousness before he may detain and frisk a law-abiding citizen, Is your pen up for the task? Zebra STEEL F-301 is no ordinary ballpoint. Stylish, rugged and reliable, this smooth-flowing ballpoint is ideal for forms or carbon copies. Don't settle for ordinary. Choose Different. Go to ZebraPen.com/PoliceMag for info on our sampling program © 2019 Zebra Pen Corp. All rights reserved. lingering on the side of a road does not constitute such evidence—even late at night, in a high-crime area, without a nearby car, and without evident pur- pose. Neither does walking away from an officer—even after refusing to answer questions, or for that matter hurriedly, in the middle of the night, in a high-crime housing project" e court brings up two important points. Absent reasonable suspicion or probable cause, the citizen has the right to walk away during a street contact and you cannot employ force to restrain the citizen. Eric Daigle is founder of Daigle Law Group, LLC, a firm that specializes in law enforcement operations. A former Connecticut State Police officer, Daigle focuses on civil rights actions, including police misconduct litigation. He is a le- gal advisor for police agencies across the country. www.daiglelawgroup.com.

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