Oct 29

Commonwealth v. J.S.

Commonwealth v. J.S.

Police pulled over a car being driven by J.S. for a defective brake light and claimed that he and the front seat passenger were acting extremely nervous. They claimed that J.S.’s hands were shaking uncontrollably while handing over the car’s paperwork and that he was unable to answer simple questions. The passenger was found to have an active arrest warrant and was removed from the car. J.S. was also removed and his area of control was “frisked for officer safety.” During this search they recovered a loaded firearm under the driver’s seat and J.S. was arrested. The defense filed a motion to suppress and discovered numerous inconsistencies between the officer’s statements and testimony and what actually occurred as seen on their body worn cameras. A judge ruled that the police did not have probable cause to search the car or reasonable suspicion that J.S. was “armed and dangerous” and therefore suppressed the firearm from evidence. The Commonwealth subsequently withdrew prosecution of the case.

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