Investigative Detentions & Reasonable Suspicion: Part 4

by | Jul 3, 2017 | Blog, Criminal Law, Interrogation, Know Your Rights, Monmouth County, Ocean County

Because it was an investigative detention from the point that Campan took those directed actions toward defendant, the Court must consider whether, based on a totality of the circumstances, the encounter was “justified at its inception” by a reasonable and articulable suspicion of criminal activity. An anonymous tip, standing alone, inherently lacks the reliability necessary to support reasonable suspicion. Mere furtive gestures of an occupant of an automobile do not give rise to an articulable suspicion suggesting criminal activity. The suspicious behavior identified by the State in defendant’s later responses to Campan’s questioning occurred after the investigative detention had begun. Neither those responses, nor her blurted-out incriminatory statements, nor the surrendered contraband can be used, post hoc, to establish the reasonable and articulable suspicion required at the outset of the investigative detention that here began earlier in time.

Reasonable articulable suspicion was not present when this investigative detention began. Therefore, the statements and evidence obtained thereafter must be suppressed, and it is unnecessary to address the Miranda arguments advanced by the parties. The judgment of the Appellate Division is reversed.

Justice Solomon was the lone dissenter. He continued with his trend of being the lone member of the court to write a dissent in favor of the police position. Justice Solomon does not explain how an individual sitting in their car in their own driveway is a “reasonably suspicious” scenario.

Justice Solomon agreed with the majority that the encounter did not implicate Miranda, but views New Jersey jurisprudence to mandate a different holding as to when the encounter became an investigative detention and concludes that the interaction evolved from a field inquiry into an investigative detention when Campan asked whether there was anything in the vehicle he should know about. In Justice Solomon’s view, the detention was lawful and the trial court properly denied defendant’s motion to suppress. The majority’s holding unreasonably and unnecessarily limits an officer’s ability to explore a suspicious scenario and ensure that the community and officers are safe, and no crime is being committed, according to Justice Solomon.