November 17th, 2020
US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
United States v. McKinney
Opinion Date: November 16, 2020
Judge: Leslie Southwick
Areas of Law: Criminal Law
The Fifth Circuit reversed defendant's conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm. When defendant pleaded guilty to the crime, he reserved the right to challenge on appeal the denial of his motion to suppress evidence of the discovery of the firearm by an officer patting him down prior to questioning. The court concluded that the evidence before the district court did not support the conclusion that officers had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to detain defendant for questioning or to subsequently frisk him. In this case, defendant was detained for questioning while standing on a sidewalk with others near a business that in recent days had been the location of multiple gang-related shootings. The court stated that the body-camera videos and police report do not sufficiently explain the events leading up to the initiation of the investigatory detention. Accordingly, the court vacated the district court's order denying defendant's motion to suppress and remanded for further proceedings.
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