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Officer did not violate 4th Amendment in finding gun in man's coat

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A police officer who arrested a man and then found a gun in his coat did not violate the man’s rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held.

In Christopher Stark v. State of Indiana, No. 49A05-1104-CR-152, a police officer arrested Christopher Stark after approaching his idling vehicle and finding Stark – who was under age 21 – had been drinking alcohol. Stark was acting suspiciously and appeared to slide something underneath his coat, which was on his lap.

After the officer arrested Stark, he returned to the car and retrieved the coat, which contained a loaded handgun. In his interlocutory appeal, Stark appealed his denial of his motion to suppress that evidence, holding his rights had been violated when the officer retrieved his coat.

The COA held that the degree of intrusion was minimal, and that with three unsecured passengers still in the idling vehicle, safety concerns existed for the arresting officer. The appellate court affirmed the trial court’s denial of Stark’s motion to suppress.   




 

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  1. He did not have an "unlicensed handgun" in his pocket. Firearms are not licensed in Indiana. He apparently possessed a handgun without a license to carry, but it's not the handgun that is licensed (or registered).

  2. Once again, Indiana's legislature proves how friendly it is to monopolies. This latest bill by Hershman demonstrates the lengths Indiana's representatives are willing to go to put big business's (especially utilities') interests above those of everyday working people. Maassal argues that if the technology (solar) is so good, it will be able to compete on its own. Too bad he doesn't feel the same way about the industries he represents. Instead, he wants to cut the small credit consumers get for using solar in order to "add a 'level of certainty'" to his industry. I haven't heard of or seen such a blatant money-grab by an industry since the days when our federal, state, and local governments were run by the railroad. Senator Hershman's constituents should remember this bill the next time he runs for office, and they should penalize him accordingly.

  3. From his recent appearance on WRTV to this story here, Frank is everywhere. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy, although he should stop using Eric Schnauffer for his 7th Circuit briefs. They're not THAT hard.

  4. They learn our language prior to coming here. My grandparents who came over on the boat, had to learn English and become familiarize with Americas customs and culture. They are in our land now, speak ENGLISH!!

  5. @ Rebecca D Fell, I am very sorry for your loss. I think it gives the family solace and a bit of closure to go to a road side memorial. Those that oppose them probably did not experience the loss of a child or a loved one.

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