Consider the following cases:
Two police officers were patrolling in a high-crime neighborhood. They noticed a parked car with two people inside (a driver and a passenger). The officers saw a young woman leaning into the passenger’s window and handing the passenger an object, which they could not identify. At this point they approached the car and the woman began to walk away.
- One of the officers noticed the passenger making a shoving down motion, leading the officer to believe that the passenger might be armed. The officer drew his gun and shouted “let me see your hands.” After making more shoving down motions, the passenger complied. The officer reached into the car and touched a bulge in the passenger’s pocket. He felt large, hard objects which he believed to be rocks of crack cocaine. He then removed a plastic bag from the pocket. It contained several rocks of crack cocaine that, together with another rock found in the passenger’s clothing, totaled almost 100 grams. The passenger was arrested, but the driver and the woman standing outside it were not.
Should the passenger’s motion to suppress the seized evidence be granted?
- On a routine patrol, an officer noticed a parked car. Two people were inside, and they were in a high crime area near a bar that was known for gang activity. In the past, the officer had responded to calls from the bar for everything from murder to public intoxication. The officer testified that he stopped to see if the individuals were committing a crime, lived in the area, or had some other concern. When the officer pulled behind the car and illuminated the car with his spotlight, he observed the passenger fumbling with something on the floorboard. As the officer was checking for identification, he noticed a bullet on top of the console of the car. The officer had the individuals step out of the car to ensure that they did not have any weapons. After frisking them for weapons, the officer looked in the area where he observed the passenger fumbling with something to see if he was hiding a gun. The officer said he was checking this area for his safety and to make sure that nobody would get hurt. The officer observed a 12-pack of beer on the floorboard and checked inside for a gun. When he moved the carton, he found a small baggy underneath it containing a controlled substance.
Should the passenger’s motion to suppress the controlled substance be granted?