Hearing nearby gunshots alone did not create reasonable suspicion to justify a seizure.
The DC Circuit Court held that officers violated the Fourth Amendment when they seized the defendant because they lacked reasonable suspicion to justify the stop. In this case, a seizure occurred when the officers pulled into the parking lot, partially blocked the defendant’s vehicle, and activated their take-down light. The court held that any inference of suspicion that the officers drew from encountering the defendant soon after hearing the nearby gunshots were undermined by the government’s failure to identify specific and articulable facts supporting the officers’ estimation of where the various shots came from. Accordingly, the court remanded for further proceedings.
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