Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Jackson

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

May 15, 2018



          Denise Page Hood Chief Judge

         I. BACKGROUND

         On July 14, 2017, a Complaint was filed against Defendant Brandon Devon Jackson (“Jackson”). (Doc # 1) On August 2, 2017, Jackson was charged by Indictment with one count of Felon in Possession of a Firearm in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(1). (Doc # 12) On October 10, 2017, Jackson filed two Motions to Suppress Evidence. (Doc # 18; Doc # 19) The Government filed a Response to the first Motion on October 31, 2017. (Doc # 21) The Government filed a Response to the second Motion on November 1, 2017. (Doc # 22) Jackson filed a Reply to the first Motion on December 4, 2017. (Doc # 24)

         Jackson seeks to suppress evidence obtained from the seizure and the search of his cell phone on July 5th and July 14th of 2017 (Doc # 18), and statements Jackson made to police officers after two interrogations by Detroit police officers on the same respective dates (Doc # 19). The evidence obtained includes images and videos stored on Jackson's cell phone, and statements Jackson made to police officers regarding the information and media on his phone.


         On July 5, 2017, police officers with the Detroit Police Homicide Task Force and troopers with the Michigan State Police (“MSP”) Major Case Unit executed a search warrant at the residence and property at an undisputed address on Forrer Street in Detroit, Michigan. The search warrant included authorization to search vehicles within the curtilage of the residence. The officers were investigating a homicide which had taken place at a party in the early morning hours that day, allegedly involving Jackon's brother, Keevon Black-Burton (“Black-Burton”) and Keevon's girlfriend Jessica Abdal (“Abdal”). Jackson had also attended the party.

         Police officers had obtained the warrant on July 5, 2017 in connection with their investigation into the fatal shooting of Robert Oakes. The shooting had occurred the morning of July 5th, the day the warrant was executed. To secure the warrant, the officers relied on the following statements from an unidentified witness: (1) a fight began between Black-Burton and an unidentified male at a party at someone's home, during which Black-Burton punched the other man while holding a gun in his hand; (2) the witness then ran out of the home to get Robert Oakes, who ran into the home; (3) the witness then heard shooting. The warrant also identified two non-fatal victims of the shooting: Keenan Black-Burton, Keevon's brother; and Jessica Abdal. Casings from two different caliber guns were found at the scene of the shooting.

         Abdal was interviewed at the hospital. Abdal told police officers that Black-Burton dropped her off at the hospital, stated she knew Black-Burton to carry a gun, and that he may have been staying at his mother's home on Forrer Street. She also reported that Black-Burton had a gun at the party, but she could not remember if he shot it. Abdal could not provide Black-Burton's phone number without her phone, which she allegedly had left in her car-a 2016 GMC Terrain. Abdal also provided the license plate number for the car.

         Black-Burton's mother (“Ms. Burton”) arrived at the hospital while Abdal was being interviewed by police officers. Ms. Burton confirmed that she lived at the Forrer address. The affidavit states, “Jessica asked [Ms. Burton] where Keevon was and she stated she and Jessica's daughter [] were at [Ms. Burton's home] sleeping.” (21-1, Pg ID 3)

         One of the officers drafted an affidavit in support of a state search warrant for the mother's residence on Forrer Street. The affidavit states that the officers believed the search warrant would assist “in locating Keevon Black-Burton, the gun that he was carrying, the clothes he was wearing at the party, and any cell phones that he carries and Jessica's cell phone.” (Id. at Pg ID 4) The affidavit was reviewed by an assistant prosecutor and then reviewed and signed by a State of Michigan Third Circuit judge.

         The affidavit and warrant specifically describes the property to be searched and seized as:

Any and all clothing that may contain blood or DNA evidence. Any and all firearms. Any and all vehicles in the curtilage of the residence. Any and all cell phones, computers, hard drives, data storage devices used to store video and/or audio data and the contents that are contained within them. Upon seizure of an electronic device, (sic) Further you are commanded to effect a complete forensic evaluation (search) of the electronic contents of any/all computers or electronic storage devices and or cell phones, test messages, phone records . . . which may be located in the area to be searched.

(Id. at 2)

         The warrant described Abdal's car, but did not describe the clothes Black-Burton wore to the party, nor did it describe the manufacturer or model of Black-Burton's or Abdal's phones.

         Defendant Jackson and his brothers Trevon Nichols and Keenan Black-Burton were on the property at the Forrer street residence when the police officers executed the warrant. The three men were detained by police officers for safety purposes while the officers proceeded with the search. One of the police officers searched two vehicles, a black and gold Pontiac sedan and a gold Cadillac sedan, that were parked on the property where Jackson, Trevon Nichols, and Keenan Black-Burton were being detained. The officer found an iPhone under the radio inside the Pontiac sedan. The officer asked the three men to identify the owner of the Pontiac sedan and the owner of the iPhone. Jackson told the officer the car and the phone belonged to his girlfriend, Ashley Weaver (“Weaver”). Jackson added that Weaver was at work at the time, and that he had driven the car. The officers seized the phone.

         After completing the search, the officers asked Jackson if he was willing to speak with police officers at police headquarters regarding the fatal shooting that took place at the party the previous night. Jackson signed a consent form, in which he agreed to be transported to a Detroit Police Department (DPD) facility to be interviewed, agreed to travel with a member of DPD, and acknowledged that he was not under arrest and was not being detained against his will. (Doc # 21-2) Jackson signed the form at 4:38 p.m. on July 5, 2017. (Id.) One of the officers transported Jackson to Detroit Public Safety Headquarters (DPSH). Jackson rode in the front seat of the vehicle, and was never placed in handcuffs. During the drive, the officer noticed that the seized phone kept ringing, and asked Jackson if he knew why someone named “Ro” would be calling his girlfriend. Jackson responded by stating that the phone was his phone if “Ro” was calling. Jackson never objected to the seizure of his phone, nor did he attempt to regain possession of the phone after acknowledging that the phone was his.

         After arriving at DPSH, Jackson was questioned about the party and the events that occurred during the early morning hours of July 5, 2017. The interrogation started around 5:50 p.m. Jackson told police officers he attended the party where Robert Oakes was eventually shot, but that he left the party before the shooting took place. He told the officers his whereabouts during the shooting, and that he learned of the shooting from calls to his cell phone.

         Jackson also described an argument he had during the party regarding some threats he received via social media. The threats were stored on Jackson's seized cell phone. When Jackson was first asked whether he would consent to a search of his cell phone, Jackson told the officer “no.” When asked whether officers could “look at” his phone to open the phone and review the threats he received, Jackson said he would consent. Jackson told the officers the threats could be found in the phone's photos application. Investigator Ira Todd (“Investigator Todd”) gave Jackson a consent form. Jackson signed the consent form at 6:46 p.m. (Doc # 21-4) Jackson consented to a forensic search of his iPhone 6 and listed the passcode to his iPhone on the consent form. (Id.) Jackson directed Investigator Todd and one of his colleagues to screenshots of threats he stored within his photos, and handed the phone back to the officers.

         The officers continued questioning Jackson about the events at the party. Investigator Todd asked Jackson about the phone numbers of individuals being referenced in his account of the events. At one point, Jackson told the officers “you got the numbers right there” and “you can check the phone.” (Doc # 21-3, Clips 5, 6) Jackson and an officer also scrolled through his call log and identified one of the numbers in the log to be his friend. (Id. at Clip 7) Jackson also showed the officers a text message he sent to his girlfriend to corroborate an answer he gave to a question regarding the shooting. (Id. at Clip 9) At another point, Investigator Todd directed Jackson's attention to a picture on the phone, of Jackson and other people holding what appeared to be firearms. Jackson told the officer they were “prop” guns and claimed that he was not a felon. (Id. at 10)

         A written statement was made to document the July 5, 2017 interview. The document, titled “Statement Form, ” categorized the statement as the product of an interview and not an interrogation. (Doc # 21-5, Pg ID 2) Jackson signed the statement. (Id.) The statement indicated that the interview began at 7:00 p.m. and ended at 8:50 p.m. on July 5, 2017. (Id.) The statement indicates that Jackson verbally agreed that (1) he gave the police officers consent to search his iPhone 6; (2) he gave ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.