Topic: Facts did not support a finding of reasonable suspicion that the defendant was presently armed and dangerous to support Terry Frisk.
Chicago Police officers responded to an anonymous call reporting a Hispanic man in a black sweater and black hat, carrying a bag, and climbing under a warehouse fence. They found someone who matched the description. After stopping and frisking him, they determined he was not engaged in any crime. Howell, walking toward the police, was white and wearing a black jacket and dark hat. When an officer approached to speak to him, Howell did not answer, looked panicked, and put his hands in his pockets. The officer patted Howell down and found a gun in his jacket. Howell was charged as a prohibited person. At trial, Howell unsuccessfully moved to suppress the gun. The Seventh Circuit reversed the denial of his suppression motion and vacated his conviction for possessing that gun. Viewing the pretrial record as a whole, the police lacked reasonable suspicion to frisk Howell. The court did not reverse Howell’s conviction on a second gun charge that resulted from the execution of a warrant to search Howell’s apartment three months after the initial stop and the ensuing discovery of more guns and ammunition.
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