- United States v. Drayton case brief summary
- The 4th amendment allows police to approach bus passengers at random to ask questions and to requires their consent to searches provided a reasonable person would understand he or she is free to refuse
- Issue: must officers advise passengers during these encounters of their right to refuse?
- Drayton and Brown were riding on a bus when the police did a routine check of passengers. The officer did not inform the passengers of their right to refuse that day. When he searched their bags he found nothing but when he searched their person after asking he found them to be carrying cocaine
- The officers know they did not have probable cause to search them. They were asking and they agreed
- Even when police have no basis for suspicion, an officer may ask to search provided they do not coerce cooperation
- Rule: whether a reasonable person would feel free to decline the officers requests or otherwise terminate the encounter
- Mendenhall test: would a reasonable person feel free to leave
- We use whether they felt they had the right to decline the officers’ requests because it is unreasonable to use the free to leave standard because they were in the middle of a bus trip
- Holding: nothing the officer did would suggest to a reasonable person they weren’t free to leave or terminate the encounter
- He was quiet and polite, did not brandish a weapon or block the aisle
- The arrest of brown does not mean that Dayton should have not felt free to refuse
- DISSENT: the way they were positioned was actually threatening and would lead them to believe that they weren’t free to refuse
Sunday, January 13, 2019
United States v. Drayton case brief
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