People v. Timmsen, 2016 IL 118181 (March). Episode 153 (Duration 5:36)
Apparently, the police can stop you for trying to legally avoid a roadblock.
Defendant made a U-turn 50 feet from a roadblock to avoid it.
He was stopped and arrested for DWLS and possession of cannabis.
Does avoiding a traffic roadblock itself create a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity justifying a traffic stop by police?
The Illinois Supreme court held that defendant’s avoidance of the police roadblock provided reasonable suspicion for an investigatory stop.
The court felt that Defendant’s U-turn across railroad tracks just 50 feet before the roadblock is the type of evasive behavior that is a pertinent factor in determining reasonable suspicion.
Further, since the roadblock was well-marked, it was readily identifiable as a roadblock rather than being mistaken for an accident site or a road hazard, which one may generally desire to avoid.
Moreover, the roadblock was not busy, which suggests that a driver would not have feared a lengthy delay. When considering “the totality of the circumstances—the whole picture,” the deputy had reasonable suspicion to conduct an investigatory stop. Evasive behavior and a person’s refusal to speak with an officer when an officer approaches him are not one and the same.
Kinda-Like Head-Long Flight
This defendant was acting comparable to Wardlow who was do anything but going about his business. He was suspiciously actively avoiding contact with the police.
The court refused to adopt any bright line rules and said its always a totality of the circumstances determination. Avoidance as simply one factor in determining the existence of reasonable suspicion.