Court rules on police investigation methods

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Admission of a handgun and related evidence has been tossed by an Indiana Court of Appeals panel on grounds that police who stopped the defendant and retrieved the weapon didn't have sufficient cause to do so.

The appellate court ruled today in Sarail Jamerson v. State of Indiana, No. 49A02-0608-CR-779, arising out of Marion Superior Court 19 and an investigatory stop in June 2006.

Three Indianapolis Police Department officers learned a county detective wanted them to locate the appellant-defendant Jamerson in connection with a carjacking at Lafayette Square Mall. Residents reported seeing him inside a parked car on the east side of Indianapolis, and the officers went there to find him.

Police found Jamerson and told him about the investigation. They allowed him to get back inside his car. Within a minute, officers observed a handgun being pulled from under the car seat and arrested Jamerson.

Later at trial, Jamerson argued that the officers did not have the necessary reasonable suspicion to detain him in an investigatory stop. The trial court denied his motion to suppress the evidence.

But the appellate panel of Judges Patrick Sullivan, Margret Robb, and Nancy Vaidik disagreed, finding that there's no adequate showing of reasonable suspicion needed for the stop that led up to the discovery of the handgun and subsequent conviction for possessing one without a license.

In making its decision, the court relied mostly on the notion that information obtained by one investigating officer may be relied on by other officials called in to assist, as long as the information-obtaining officer had reasonable suspicion in the first place. A tilting point came in the citation of State v. Murray, 837 N.E.2d 223,226 (Ind. Ct. App. 2005), that held police must relay reasonable suspicion to the investigating officer before the stop is made.

"We conclude the State has failed to demonstrate that Jamerson's reported link to the alleged illegal activity was anything more than an unparticularized hunch on the part of the unnamed reporting officer (detective)," the court wrote, reversing the lower decision and remanding with instruction to vacate the conviction.

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  1. I think the cops are doing a great job locking up criminals. The Murder rates in the inner cities are skyrocketing and you think that too any people are being incarcerated. Maybe we need to lock up more of them. We have the ACLU, BLM, NAACP, Civil right Division of the DOJ, the innocent Project etc. We have court system with an appeal process that can go on for years, with attorneys supplied by the government. I'm confused as to how that translates into the idea that the defendants are not being represented properly. Maybe the attorneys need to do more Pro-Bono work

  2. We do not have 10% of our population (which would mean about 32 million) incarcerated. It's closer to 2%.

  3. If a class action suit or other manner of retribution is possible, count me in. I have email and voicemail from the man. He colluded with opposing counsel, I am certain. My case was damaged so severely it nearly lost me everything and I am still paying dearly.

  4. There's probably a lot of blame that can be cast around for Indiana Tech's abysmal bar passage rate this last February. The folks who decided that Indiana, a state with roughly 16,000 to 18,000 attorneys, needs a fifth law school need to question the motives that drove their support of this project. Others, who have been "strong supporters" of the law school, should likewise ask themselves why they believe this institution should be supported. Is it because it fills some real need in the state? Or is it, instead, nothing more than a resume builder for those who teach there part-time? And others who make excuses for the students' poor performance, especially those who offer nothing more than conspiracy theories to back up their claims--who are they helping? What evidence do they have to support their posturing? Ultimately, though, like most everything in life, whether one succeeds or fails is entirely within one's own hands. At least one student from Indiana Tech proved this when he/she took and passed the February bar. A second Indiana Tech student proved this when they took the bar in another state and passed. As for the remaining 9 who took the bar and didn't pass (apparently, one of the students successfully appealed his/her original score), it's now up to them (and nobody else) to ensure that they pass on their second attempt. These folks should feel no shame; many currently successful practicing attorneys failed the bar exam on their first try. These same attorneys picked themselves up, dusted themselves off, and got back to the rigorous study needed to ensure they would pass on their second go 'round. This is what the Indiana Tech students who didn't pass the first time need to do. Of course, none of this answers such questions as whether Indiana Tech should be accredited by the ABA, whether the school should keep its doors open, or, most importantly, whether it should have even opened its doors in the first place. Those who promoted the idea of a fifth law school in Indiana need to do a lot of soul-searching regarding their decisions. These same people should never be allowed, again, to have a say about the future of legal education in this state or anywhere else. Indiana already has four law schools. That's probably one more than it really needs. But it's more than enough.

  5. This man Steve Hubbard goes on any online post or forum he can find and tries to push his company. He said court reporters would be obsolete a few years ago, yet here we are. How does he have time to search out every single post about court reporters and even spy in private court reporting forums if his company is so successful???? Dude, get a life. And back to what this post was about, I agree that some national firms cause a huge problem.