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Lynn K. Neuner and William T. Russell Jr. Lynn K. Neuner and William T. Russell Jr.

In a recent decision, the Court of Appeals examined the powers of law enforcement officers acting outside the scope of their jurisdiction to stop a vehicle for traffic violations and effectively conduct an “arrest.” The majority in People v. Page denied a motion to suppress evidence seized during a traffic stop by a law enforcement official on the grounds that he was making a citizen’s arrest in a decision that focused on the specific language of the governing Criminal Procedure Law provisions. The dissent, on the other hand, placed greater emphasis on the policy rationale behind those provisions in arguing that the seized evidence should be suppressed. This divided decision concerning appropriate limitations on police power and people’s ability to make citizen arrests is of particular interest given the recent efforts to reexamine fundamental aspects of law enforcement and self-policing in our society.

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