Judge Ann Scherzer

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George, charged with possession of a knife, among other things, moved for suppression of the knife and post-arrest statements. Officers testified that while driving they observed George walking and from a distance of nearly four or five car lengths observed what they recognized to be a silver clip, and top of a knife protruding from George’s pant pocket. As they approached George, they did not engage him in conversation or ask questions, but stopped him and reached into his pocket, pulling out a small folded pocket knife. It was alleged George refused to provide identification and an altercation ensued with George hitting the officer. Video surveillance from a nearby building showed the officers approached and pushed George against a wall, and reached into his pocket. As George tried to walk away, officers continued to push him against the wall, and an altercation ensued after the officer punched George. The court found the officers were not justified in reaching into George’s pocket and removing a pocket knife, noting the knife and its clip looked nearly identical to the clip of a pen, questioning how officers could have recognized it as a knife from the distance they observed George. Thus, it granted suppression of the knife, and statements as a product of an unlawful arrest.

Judge Ann Scherzer

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George, charged with possession of a knife, among other things, moved for suppression of the knife and post-arrest statements. Officers testified that while driving they observed George walking and from a distance of nearly four or five car lengths observed what they recognized to be a silver clip, and top of a knife protruding from George’s pant pocket. As they approached George, they did not engage him in conversation or ask questions, but stopped him and reached into his pocket, pulling out a small folded pocket knife. It was alleged George refused to provide identification and an altercation ensued with George hitting the officer. Video surveillance from a nearby building showed the officers approached and pushed George against a wall, and reached into his pocket. As George tried to walk away, officers continued to push him against the wall, and an altercation ensued after the officer punched George. The court found the officers were not justified in reaching into George’s pocket and removing a pocket knife, noting the knife and its clip looked nearly identical to the clip of a pen, questioning how officers could have recognized it as a knife from the distance they observed George. Thus, it granted suppression of the knife, and statements as a product of an unlawful arrest.