This modest search into the top of the bag was reasonable. If Terry permits officers to open a closed container located in a car after a stop and after the officers have removed the passengers from the car, see Long, 463 U. at 1050-51, it surely permits an officer to unzip a duffel bag, one that is already partially unzipped, to see what is lying on top of it. But that thumb-onthe-scales approach is difficult to square with the totality-of-circumstances reasonableness inquiries mandated by Terry and Long, to say nothing of Quon, a Supreme Court decision post-dating Mc Dowell that says the proper scope of a Terry-like search turns not on best (or least-intrusive) practices but on whether the method chosen was reasonable. Williams, 962 F.2d 1218, 1223-24 (6th Cir.1992), the officer asked to look in a suspect's purse for weapons and even to “feel or squeeze” it, but she refused. That, we suspect, is not what gun-safety programs recommend. At best, the decision might be construed as creating a presumption in favor of a frisk of containers, requiring the officer to give an “articulated reason why a pat-down [of the container] might not suffice.” Mc Dowell, 965 A.2d at 885.
Walker was in Santa Clarita, California to attend a charity event for Reach Out Worldwide to benefit victims of Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
He was reportedly in the passenger seat of a Porsche when his friend who was driving lost control, crashing the vehicle into a tree.
The district court agreed that a downward departure was appropriate, and it sentenced Walker to 277 months and one day in prison and ordered him to pay $59,355.65 in restitution. In addressing Walker's challenge to the district court's suppression ruling, the parties share some common ground.
They agree that Officers Bower and Timberlake had “reason to believe that [they were] dealing with an armed and dangerous individual,” Terry, 392 U. at 27, based on the BOLO and based on Walker's statements at the body shop parking lot linking him to the get-away vehicle, see Walker Br.
On this record, it is fair to say that the search was reasonably designed to discover weapons that might pose a threat to the officers' safety, namely weapons lying on the top of the already partially unzipped duffel bag. Two, according to Walker's own telling, the officers did not have probable cause to arrest either suspect when the search was made. Almany held that the mandatory minimums required by § 924(c) do not apply where a greater minimum sentence is provided for the drug offense or crime of violence that serves as the predicate for the § 924(c) violation.
After unzipping the bag and looking inside, the officers conducted no further search of the bag until they had a warrant. Not only did they not outnumber Walker and Burke, who were unrestrained and not yet in custody, but Burke also was standing just three feet from the bag at the time of the search. The possibility of access by one of the suspects was not remote. It relied on the language of § 924(c), which says that the mandatory minimums apply “[e]xcept to the extent that a greater minimum sentence is otherwise provided by this subsection or by any other provisions of law.” Id. Other witnesses identified the get-away vehicle as a blue Plymouth Voyager with wood-grain panels, and one witness provided a full license plate number. Based on the description of the robbery in the BOLO, including the warning that the thief was armed, Walker's statement that he was driving the car that matched the license plate of the robber's car and his response to the request for identification, the officers had a “perfectly reasonable apprehension” that Walker had a weapon in the duffel bag that he was carrying. Faced with these kinds of split-second judgments, police officers, it is clear, have a much more difficult job than we judges, who may take several weeks (if not months) to resolve these kinds of issues. The bank's tellers told him that the thief had stolen ,609 and gave a description of the perpetrator: a white male, between five foot eight and six feet and between 160 and 180 pounds, who wore dark clothing, gloves and a plastic or rubber skeleton mask with a hood, and who was armed with a semi-automatic silver pistol. Or they could let the men go and return the un-searched bag to Walker. The officers handcuffed Walker and Burke and read them their Miranda rights. ” Officer Bower asked, and Walker told him it was in the bag. On January 4, 2006, a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Ohio indicted Walker for committing several crimes, including bank robbery and brandishing a weapon at the National City Bank and at several other Ohio banks. On July 8, 2008, Walker signed a plea deal covering both indictments and pled guilty to two counts each of bank robbery and brandishing a firearm, but reserved the right to appeal the suppression ruling. Walker filed a motion to suppress the evidence found in the duffel bag, claiming that Officer Timberlake exceeded his authority under the Fourth Amendment when he unzipped the bag. The guilty plea covered counts stemming from robberies at the U. Bank in Ironton, Ohio, and the Peoples Bank in South Shore, Kentucky, in return for which the government dropped the charges stemming from the National City Bank robbery. The car was engulfed in flames and both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.