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Jackson v. United States

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

February 12, 2015

MELVIN E. JACKSON, APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES, APPELLEE

Submitted: January 22, 2015.

Appeal from the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. (CF2-10019-13). (Hon. Robert I. Richter, Trial Judge).

Sidney R. Bixler was on the brief for appellant.

Ronald C. Machen Jr., United States Attorney, Elizabeth Trosman, Elizabeth H. Danello, and Christian Natiello, Assistant United States Attorneys, and Rockne Chickinell, Special Assistant United States Attorney, were on the brief for appellee.

Before GLICKMAN and FISHER, Associate Judges, and FARRELL, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 1106

Farrell, Senior Judge:

Found guilty by the court of multiple firearms offenses on stipulated facts, appellant argues that his motion to suppress the loaded revolver seized from him during a pat-down was wrongly denied, because in stopping him the police relied on an anonymous 911 telephone tip that, he contends, did not furnish the reasonable suspicion necessary for a lawful stop. Largely on the basis of Prado Navarette v. California, 572 U.S., 134 S.Ct. 1683, 188 L.Ed.2d 680 (2014), we affirm.

I.

Officer Lina of the Metropolitan Police Department testified that on June 13, 2013, around 8:30 p.m. and as it was getting dark, he received a radio call about a man with a gun standing at the bus stop between Condon Terrace and Fourth Street, Southeast. In the radio call the dispatcher described the man as a black male with a brown shirt. Lina drove south on Fourth Street and, between Valley Avenue and Condon Terrace a minute or two after he got the call, saw appellant standing in front of a church along Fourth Street, wearing a black windbreaker. The officer drove on to the nearby bus stop, but when he arrived no one was there. Other than appellant, Lina saw no persons between appellant at the church and the bus stop.

Lina made a u-turn to drive back up Fourth Street, stopped at Valley Avenue, and called the dispatcher for a better lookout while watching appellant, who was wearing a black skullcap and a black windbreaker poncho. The dispatcher called back with a description of a black man wearing a black hat and a windbreaker. Four minutes after first spotting appellant in front of the church, Lina and his partner approached appellant at the corner of Valley Avenue and Fourth Street and directed him to turn around and submit to a protective pat-down. During the pat-down, Lina felt what he believed to be a gun on appellant's right side, and pulled a silver revolver out of appellant's right pocket.

On the government's motion, the trial court admitted into evidence a 911 call and the radio dispatch, both recorded on Government Exhibit 4. The 911 call was made by an anonymous female caller,[1] who stated that a man was walking near Fourth and Atlantic, down toward a church or elementary school, and had a silver gun on him. The caller had " [seen the gun] when [appellant] took it out of his pocket," explaining that she had been waiting for her friend to come off a bus when " I see him bring out a silver pistol out of his pocket," and that she then made the 911 call. Seeing the gun, the caller said, " scared the hell out of [her]." She described the suspect as wearing a " brown windbreaker," " raincoat thing," and a black hat. When the 911 operator stated her own understanding that the suspect was at Fourth Street and Condon Terrace, the caller corrected her, stating that he was " not on

Page 1107

Condon Terrace" but was walking down Fourth Street (" not up" ) toward the elementary school. Officer Lina confirmed that there was a school and church on Fourth Street, and that appellant was standing by the church when ...


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