Thursday, June 06, 2019

US v. Brown, No. 17-30191 (6-5-19)(McKeown w/Gaitan; concurrence by Friedland). The 9th suppresses evidence for an illegal stop.  The police received an anonymous tip that a black man was carrying a gun, and a description of what he was wearing. The call came from a YWCA.  The police spotted the defendant, who was African American. The police car slowly followed him, and then Brown ran. The police caught up with him, and upon a Terry stop, found a gun.  Further searching drugs.  The 9th suppressed for lack of reasonable suspicion being afoot. There was no indication that illegal activity was taking place, or that threats were being made, or that a crime occurred. The defendant did flee when the police spotted him.  The 9th though would not let flight by itself be a determining factor given the lack of other indicia.

Concurring, Friedland stressed that carrying a concealed weapon is legal in Washington. The concurrence notes that guns are a problem in this country, and police can investigate, but they have to act in conformity with the law. 

The concurrence further stressed that the record does not indicate that then police stopped the defendant because he was African American.

The decision is here: 


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