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United States v. West
United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
May 17, 2017
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
TYRONE WEST, Defendant.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS
EVIDENCE (ECF #18)
MATTHEW F. LEITMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
criminal prosecution, Defendant Tyrone West is charged with
one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in
violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (See
Indictment, ECF #11.) West has filed a motion to suppress (1)
the firearm that police officers seized from him during a
traffic stop and (2) statements he made following his arrest.
(See ECF #18.) West argues that the Court must
suppress the evidence against him because it is the
“fruit” of an unlawful arrest and/or an unlawful
patdown search. For the reasons stated below, the Court
disagrees, and it therefore DENIES
West's motion to suppress.
Court held an evidentiary hearing on West's motion to
suppress on April 11, 2017. Based on all of the evidence
presented at the hearing (which included a video recording of
the traffic stop in question made by the officers' in-car
recording system), the Court makes the following factual
1. On November 11, 2016, Detroit police officers Michael
Carson and Eric Carter were on patrol in a marked police car
in the City of Detroit, Michigan.
2. Officer Carson is a 17-year veteran of the Detroit Police
Department and is currently assigned to the department's
3. At approximately 5:02 p.m., Officers Carson and Carter
observed a black Buick sedan (the “Vehicle”) fail
to come to a complete stop at a stop sign near the
intersection of Constance and Brace.
4. The driver of the Vehicle was Anthony Earl Harris.
Defendant West was in the front passenger seat of the
5. Officers Carson and Carter stopped the Vehicle at 5:03
6. Immediately after effecting the stop, Officer Carter
approached the driver side of the Vehicle, and Officer Carson
approached the passenger side of the Vehicle.
7. Upon reaching the Vehicle, Officer Carter asked Harris for
his license and registration. Officer Carter then told Harris
that he smelled “weed.” When Harris responded
that he “didn't smoke, ” Officer Carter asked
Harris whether his passenger (West) smoked or had “weed
in the car.”
8. While Officer Carter was talking to Harris, Officer Carson
knocked on the passenger side window and asked West to roll
the window “all the way down.”
9. Officer Carson asked West for identification. West
responded that he did not have identification with him.
10. Officer Carson then said to West (at 5:03:57 p.m.):
“You just got stopped by police. You're supposed to
have ID on you. Let me explain something about the law so you
will understand. This is a state law. If you don't have
ID on you, I'm supposed to pull you out of the car and
put you in handcuffs. If I wanted to, I could take you to the
precinct because you don't have Id. We'd run
your fingerprints. It takes six hours for it to come back. So
you're not under arrest. You are being detained because
you're not carrying Id. So as of right now, I am
detaining you. I'm not taking you to the station, but I
don't know who I am dealing with. So step out of the
vehicle, because you are 25 and you're not carrying any
ID on you.”
11. At 5:04:20 p.m., as Officer Carson was still speaking to
West, Officer Carson opened the passenger side door so that
West could exit the Vehicle.
12. At 5:04:22 p.m., West began to exit the Vehicle. At that
time, Officer Carson positioned himself between West and the
open passenger side door. As West exited, Officer Carson
placed his right hand on West's back and his left hand on
West's chest/abdomen. Officer Carson placed his hands on
West in this manner in order to direct West's movements
as West exited the car.
13. When West completed his exit from the Vehicle, he was
standing with the front of his body turned towards Officer
Carson so that the two were roughly face-to-face. Officer
Carson told West to “turn around” so that West
would be facing the Vehicle rather than facing Officer
Carson. West did not immediately turn around as directed.
14. At 5:04:25 p.m., Officer Carson told West to
“listen to his instructions” and that West was
“moving too much.” Officer Carson then instructed
West to turn around for a second time.
15. During the time that Officer Carson was giving West the
instructions described above (in ¶¶ 13-14), Officer
Carson kept his right hand on West's back and his left
hand on West's chest/abdomen. Officer Carson maintained
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