Commonwealth v. C.P.
Police in an unmarked car observed C.P. traveling westbound on 66th Ave blocking the bike lane while obstructing the middle of a cross walk. The car then turned right on red and began traveling at a “reckless” rate of speed. Officers pulled the. car over and the front seat passenger attempted to exit and walk away. He was told to get back in the car and police began speaking with C.P., the driver. Police claimed that as they were speaking with him, C.P. was smoking a marijuana blunt and appeared to be “extremely nervous”. They recognized C.P. as being involved in a “shooting incident” about a month prior. Based on their observations, C.P. and the passenger were frisked and placed in the back of a police car. While recovering the marijuana blunt from the floorboard of the car, officers noticed a firearm under the driver’s seat. There car was held for a search warrant and the gun was recovered, which was ultimately tested for DNA and provided a match to C.P. The defense rejected a plea offer of 5-10 years in jail and filed a motion to suppress evidence, claiming that police lacked reasonable suspicion that a motor vehicle violation had occurred and that the search was illegal. A judge agreed, finding that the stop of the car was pre-textual and the gun was suppressed from evidence. As a result, the DA was forced to withdraw charges against C.P.