Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs

 

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Train enthusiast, Grice, was stopped and handcuffed after police received a report that someone holding an electronic device was bending down by the tracks at a rail crossing. After a search of the tracks, the police turned Grice over to MTA police officers, who charged him with trespass. The trespass charge was dismissed. Only officers McVeigh and Farina remained as defendants in Grice’s subsequent lawsuit. District court denied them qualified immunity on Grice’s claims of false arrest, failure to intervene, and failure to supervise. Second Circuit reversed on interlocutory appeal. It found McVeigh had a reasonable suspicion to stop Grice under Terry for unlawful interference with a train or for trespass and noted McVeigh knew of no plausible reason to explain why someone would photograph trains and listening to railroad radio broadcasts. Also, McVeigh’s intent to handcuff Grice for protection rather than pursuant to arrest was clear; he never administered a Miranda warning and explained to Grice that he was handcuffing him “for my safety and your safety … until I find out what’s going on.” Thirty three minutes was not an unreasonable period to keep handcuffs on while police and a dog searched the railroad tracks for a potential bomb.

Circuit Judge Dennis Jacobs

 

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Train enthusiast, Grice, was stopped and handcuffed after police received a report that someone holding an electronic device was bending down by the tracks at a rail crossing. After a search of the tracks, the police turned Grice over to MTA police officers, who charged him with trespass. The trespass charge was dismissed. Only officers McVeigh and Farina remained as defendants in Grice’s subsequent lawsuit. District court denied them qualified immunity on Grice’s claims of false arrest, failure to intervene, and failure to supervise. Second Circuit reversed on interlocutory appeal. It found McVeigh had a reasonable suspicion to stop Grice under Terry for unlawful interference with a train or for trespass and noted McVeigh knew of no plausible reason to explain why someone would photograph trains and listening to railroad radio broadcasts. Also, McVeigh’s intent to handcuff Grice for protection rather than pursuant to arrest was clear; he never administered a Miranda warning and explained to Grice that he was handcuffing him “for my safety and your safety … until I find out what’s going on.” Thirty three minutes was not an unreasonable period to keep handcuffs on while police and a dog searched the railroad tracks for a potential bomb.