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Court: Seizure of Passenger Okay...This Time

Posted Thursday, September 22, 2016 by Andrew Charles Huff

Our State Supreme Court just decided that detaining an arrestee’s companion in the absence of individual reasonable suspicion is permissible when officers have objective safety concerns and to secure the scene of the arrest… “so long as it remains reasonable in scope and duration.”

The type of stop the Court is referencing is called a “Terry stop,” or a stop and detention short of a full arrest.

The Court found there are reasons for police to seize companions, such as the number of officers and other people present, time of day, behavior, location of the arrest, presence of actual or suspected weapons, and officer ‘s knowledge of the arrestee or companions.

This case involved the suppression of a gun located on Mr. Flores after he had been ordered to hold his hands up and walk backward toward an officer based merely on his proximity to his companion, a suspect in a felony harassment case who had an unrelated warrant out for his arrest.

State v. Flores

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