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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 156337 Find in a Library
Title: Pursuit of Suspect by Police: At What Point is a Person Seized?
Journal: Crime to Court Police Officer's Handbook  Dated:(August 1995)  Pages:complete issue
Author(s): J C Coleman
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 17
Type: Training (Aid/Material)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This handbook reviews a determination by the Michigan Court of Appeals that any "investigatory pursuit" of a person undertaken by the police necessarily constitutes a seizure under the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution; a second article suggests a method of dealing with those suspected of being members of a motorcycle gang.
Abstract: After a police pursuit, Michael Chesternut was arrested for the possession of narcotics and taken to the station house. The presiding judge dismissed the charges on the ground that the defendant had been unlawfully seized during the police pursuit preceding disposal of the narcotics packets. The Michigan Court of Appeals affirmed this decision. Rather than adopting either "bright-line" rule proposed by the opposing parties, the U.S. Supreme Court held that the judgment as to whether or not a "seizure" has occurred must take into account "all of the circumstances surrounding the incident" in each case. The Court further held that in this particular case, the police conduct did not amount to a seizure. Based on this case, the presence of a police car driving parallel to a running pedestrian does not, standing alone, constitute a seizure. The discussion in the "Procedural" section of this handbook discusses steps in the identification of an outlaw biker as distinguished from a regular biker. Identifying factors are clothing colors; club patches on jackets; and accompanied by a van, which may contain drugs, weapons, spare bike parts, and even surveillance equipment. Suggestions are offered for approaching an identified outlaw biker, controlling the encounter, and making an intelligence report.
Main Term(s): Police policies and procedures
Index Term(s): Drug law enforcement; Motorcycle gangs; Search and seizure; Search and seizure training
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