Justice April A. Newbauer


Read Full-Text Decision

Brown was charged by grand jury with criminal possession of a controlled substance and moved to suppress statement, and physical evidence recovered from him arguing it was the subject of an illegal search and seizure. Detectives stopped the vehicle in which Brown was a rear seat passenger. Brown inquired why they were being stopped, and made an effort to get out of the vehicle. A detective reached into the vehicle and placed Brown in handcuffs, taking him out of the car. At such time, a detective observed small blue pills falling from Brown’s shorts, and he was searched and packages of pills believed to be oxycodone and heroin were recovered in Brown’s groin area of shorts. The detective testified he pulled Brown out of the car as he was acting nervous and moving around. Yet, the court found Brown’s conduct failed to justify his immediate handcuffing and forcible removal from the car, noting such bodily intrusion without adequate suspicion of wrongdoing would not pass scrutiny under DeBour. It stated the detective’s subjective opinion that Brown’s nervousness was suspicious was not coupled with any objective testimony of actual furtive conduct. As such, Brown’s motions were granted and the physical evidence suppressed.