Monday, August 31, 2009

No basis for stop or frisk

Rick Kittel and KU Defender Project student Thomas Knutzen won in State v. Dean, No. 100,120 (Aug. 28, 2009), reversing a Sedgwick County drug conviction. The COA agreed with Mr. Dean that the officer did not have an objectively reasonable basis to detain:
Applying an objective standard, the facts available to Officer Goodman at the moment of the seizure established: (1) Goodman had received a report of an unidentified individual selling crack from an unidentified vehicle in front of a residence where Dean and others lived; (2) no vehicles were parked in front of the residence when Goodman arrived to investigate; (3) Goodman was only generally familiar with the residence and its occupants, including the defendant; (4) during a consensual search of the home, Goodman observed no illegal activity; and (5) when Goodman saw Dean in the kitchen, he thought Dean appeared nervous. Simply stated, these facts do not establish objectively reasonable suspicion that Dean was engaged in illegal drug activity.
The COA made a similar analysis and held that, even if the stop was proper, the officer did not have objectively reasonable suspicion that Mr. Dean was dangerous sufficient to allow a frisk. As a result, the COA held suppression should have been granted.

[Update: the state did not file a PR and the mandate issued on October 1, 2009.]

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