Case summaries for July 2 – July 9
To support the exercise of an officer’s community caretaker function requires more than speculation, it requires specific and articulable facts, which officer said were absent. “[S]pecific and articulable facts from the totality of the circumstances [,]” constituting at least reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, are also necessary to justify a warrantless traffic stop even when investigative, temporary, and non-custodial. Officer’s probable cause statement said that officer did a caretaker check, only, on driver because driver’s car was parked in the entrance to a restaurant. Circuit court expressly found officer’s later testimony, that driver was blocking the entrance in violation of traffic laws, not credible. Deferring to that credibility determination, the Court of Appeals affirms the circuit court’s ruling, granting driver’s motion to suppress.
State of Missouri vs. Jesse B. Alford
Missouri Court of Appeals, Western District – WD83177