United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division
January 8, 2015
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
RONALD HARRIS, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT’S MOTION TO SUPPRESS HANDGUN
PAUL D. BORMAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Defendant filed a Motion to Suppress a handgun seized by the Detroit Police Department on May 28, 2014. The Court received briefing and heard argument from the parties.
On May 28, 2014, two Detroit Police Officers, on marked car patrol on Mohican Street, saw Defendant Harris and another individual walking on the sidewalk. When the police car came into view of the two men, they split up, and Defendant began walking in the street. As the officers drove in Mr. Harris’ direction, he took off running. One officer exited the scout car and gave chase at which time he saw Defendant toss what appeared to be a gun. The officers ultimately came up to Defendant, found him hiding between two cars and detained and handcuffed him and placed him in the squad car. When they couldn’t find the weapon, an officer in the car called dispatch to send a canine unit to assist with the search. At this point Defendant spontaneously said – “I’ll tell you where it is, and pointed to the area where the police recovered the gun – the flower bed near where Defendant was running.
Defendant seeks to suppress the gun seized, as a violation of the Fourth Amendment.
The Court DENIES Defendant’s motion because he abandoned the gun before it was seized, so there was no Fourth Amendment violation.
As the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit noted in United States v. Ricky Martin, 399 F.3d 750, 753 (6th Cir. 2005) the Supreme Court’s holding in California v. Hodari D, 499 U.S. 621, 626 (1991) is that a suspect is not seized until he submits to police authority.
In this case, Defendant abandoned the gun before he was seized – clearly he did not submit to police authority when he was running. As the Sixth Circuit stated in Smith:
Because he had not been seized when he discarded his revolver, under Hodari D, he abandoned it and it is irrelevant whether police misconduct caused the abandonment.
Martin at 753.
Accordingly, Defendant’s Motion to Suppress the pistol is DENIED.