Tuesday, July 25, 2017

"High-Risk" Procedures at Traffic Stop were Warranted Because of Gun Info

U.S. v. Windom, 2017 WL 3124047 (7/24/17)(CO)(published) - The Tenth affirms the denial of Mr. Windom's suppression motion, rejecting his claim that officers unreasonably used "high-risk" traffic stop procedures to investigate the "completed misdemeanor" of flashing a gun in public. After receiving a report from a bar employee that a man--who turned out to be Mr. Windom--flashed a gun at the bar and claimed to be a Crips member, officers stopped a car matching the description they were given. Mr. Windom argued that while officers had reasonable suspicion for the stop, the heightened degree of force they used converted what would have been an investigative stop into a de facto arrest requiring probable cause. The Tenth concludes that it was reasonable for officers to draw their weapons and order the car occupants to exit the car and get face-down on the ground with legs crossed because the available information suggested Mr. Windom was armed and dangerous and officers needed to take precautionary measures to protect their personal safety. Consequently, the seizure was lawful and Mr. Windom's felon in possession of a firearm conviction is affirmed.