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Resisting law enforcement conviction reversed because man had no duty to stop

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Finding police lacked reasonable suspicion and probable cause when responding to a call about a disturbance that would justify a seizure of a Marion County man, the Indiana Court of Appeals concluded Keion Gaddie was subject to an unlawful stop.

Gaddie appealed his Class A misdemeanor conviction of resisting law enforcement that was a result of him refusing to stop walking away from a police officer after the officer ordered Gaddie to stop. The officer was responding to a report of a disturbance at Gaddie’s home and was trying to round everyone up in the front yard to keep an eye on the group. The officer did not see Gaddie or anyone else commit a crime before ordering Gaddie to stop nor was he under arrest.

The state had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt Gaddie knowingly or intentionally fled from the officer after the officer identified himself and ordered Gaddie to stop. Gaddie claims there’s insufficient evidence because he had no duty to stop in what he considered a consensual encounter.

The Court of Appeals in Corbin v. State, 568 N.E.2d 1064, 1065 (Ind. Ct. App. 1991), held that “evidence of flight following a police officer’s order to stop is admissible in a prosecution for resisting law enforcement regardless of the lawfulness of the order.”

“To agree with the rationale in Corbin would effectively render the consensual encounter nonexistent in the state of Indiana,” Chief Judge Margret Robb wrote in Keion Gaddie v. State of Indiana, 49A02-1212-CR-953. “Thus, we hold that as long as a seizure has not taken place within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment, a person is free to disregard a police officer’s order to stop and cannot be convicted of resisting law enforcement for fleeing.”

The judges rejected the state’s argument that there was reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop. But a report of a disturbance without more is insufficient to create a basis for conducting an investigatory stop, the court ruled. Gaddie was walking beside his home and had not committed any crime. The officer’s explanation that safety was a concern was “merely speculative,” Robb wrote.

Because Gaddie was under no duty to stop when the officer ordered him to do so, the judges reversed his conviction.

 

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  1. Future generations will be amazed that we prosecuted people for possessing a harmless plant. The New York Times came out in favor of legalization in Saturday's edition of the newspaper.

  2. Well, maybe it's because they are unelected, and, they have a tendency to strike down laws by elected officials from all over the country. When you have been taught that "Democracy" is something almost sacred, then, you will have a tendency to frown on such imperious conduct. Lawyers get acculturated in law school into thinking that this is the very essence of high minded government, but to people who are more heavily than King George ever did, they may not like it. Thanks for the information.

  3. I pd for a bankruptcy years ago with Mr Stiles and just this week received a garnishment from my pay! He never filed it even though he told me he would! Don't let this guy practice law ever again!!!

  4. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  5. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

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