United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO SUPPRESS
TANGIBLE EVIDENCE AND STATEMENTS
D. BORMAN UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
a criminal case. Defendant Michael Lashane Watson is charged
in a single count indictment with being a felon in possession
of a firearm, 18 U.S.C. §922(g)(1), onApril8, 2019.
the Court is Defendant's Motion to Suppress Tangible
Evidence and Statements (ECF #18). The Court held an
evidentiary hearing on Defendant's Motion to Suppress on
July 23, 2019. Police videos were shown at the hearing. The
two Detroit Police Officers involved in this seizure, Yuseph
Elzein and Justin Malek testified at the hearing.
reviewing the record, in particular the videos provided by
the Government which captured the encounter, the Court
concludes that the police officers' conduct violated
Defendant's constitutional rights. Accordingly, the
motion to suppress the tangible evidence seized and
Defendant's statements made to law enforcement officers.
on a video provided by the Government that was shown at the
hearing, the Court learned that on April 8, 2019, Defendant
Michael Lashane Watson and his friend were approached by
Detroit Police Officers on a residential street. Defendant
and his friend were standing next to Defendant's car when
the officers drove up. Defendant was wearing an untucked
shirt. The officers exited their car, walked up to the
Defendant, and then one officer said to Defendant: "Got
ID on you?" Defendant said "Yes." An officer
then reached over, pulled up Defendant Watson's untucked
shirt and seized a heretofore invisible pistol from
Watson's waistband. Only thereafter, did an
officer ask Defendant Watson "Got a CPL?"
conclusion of the evidentiary hearing, the Court ordered the
parties to submit a supplemental brief concerning the Detroit
City Code provision at issue: §38-1-1-3:
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to liter on any
street, sidewalks, overpass or public place. For the purpose
of this section, loitering is defined as the act of standing
or idling in or about any street, sidewalk, overpass or
public place so as to hinder or impede or tend to hinder or
impede the passage of pedestrians or vehicles.
(b) A person who violates this section shall be liable for a
instant case, as the videos show, the defendant and another
man were talking to each other standing next to
Defendant's parked car on a two lane street. The video
established the street had no other vehicular traffic, or any
sidewalk pedestrian traffic. Indeed, had the two men been
talking on the sidewalk, they could have been cited under the
Loitering Provision for standing and talking on a sidewalk
even though no other individuals were walking or standing on
and his friend did not hinder or impede or tend to hinder or
impede the passage of any vehicles. Indeed, there were no
moving vehicles on the street.
Officers Elzein and Malek pulled up in their car alongside
Defendant's car, walked over, and then pulled up
Defendant's shirt revealing a pistol, and seized the
pistol. The officers testified that they saw a bulge under
the left side of his untucked shirt.
Compiled Laws §750.227 states that a person shall not
carry concealed pistol ...