In re Elijah W., 2017 IL App (1st) 162648 (March). Episode 326 (Duration 4:59)
Plain clothes officer sternly telling a kid to “come here” is a seizure.
Juveniles can’t really consent to a police officer.
Kid was with his buddies when unmarked sport utility vehicle with 3 officers in plain clothes goes by.
Kid starts to walk away and car reverses and slowly follows him.
Each officer was armed, wore a bulletproof vest, and displayed a police badge.
All the officers recognized the kid and new he was a minor.
One of them called for him to “come here” in a casual, but stern tone of voice.
Kid complied and walked towards the SUV.
They ask him “what you doing out here?” Kid shrugged in response. They repeat the question in a stern tone.
Kid then responded, “I got a couple rocks on me.”
Kid is placed in handcuffs.
Six ziplock bags containing suspect crack cocaine found on him. Then another plastic bag containing 12 ziplock bags with capsules of suspect heroin are pulled from some sweat pants he had underneath his jeans in the right pocket.
In trying to determine if this was a consensual encounter the trial court said that the United States Supreme Court has recognized that compared to adults, juveniles have a lack of maturity and an underdeveloped sense of responsibility; they are more vulnerable or susceptible to negative influences and outside pressures, including peer pressure; and their characters are not as well formed. See Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 68 (2010), Miller v. Alabama, 567 U.S., and J.D.B., 564 U.S. at 265 (age of the subject is relevant to the custody analysis of Miranda).
Our supreme court’s decision in In re D.L.H., 2015 IL 117341 adopted the analysis set forth in J.D.B. There, the court considered whether the test for determining whether the minor was in custody for purposes of section 5-170(a) of the Juvenile Court Act of 1987 (705 ILCS 405/5-170(a) (West 2012)) was any different than the test for determining whether he was in custody for the purposes of Miranda.
The court noted two discrete inquiries required under Miranda:
(1) “what were the circumstances surrounding the interrogation” and
(2) “given those circumstances, would a reasonable person have felt he or she was not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave.”
Our supreme court has identified several factors relevant to the first inquiry, including, among other things,
- the age,
- intelligence, and
- mental makeup of the accused.
The D.L.H. court found that when the person questioned is a juvenile,” the reasonable person standard is modified to take that fact into account.
The decision in D.L.H. was limited to fifth amendment Miranda concerns and did not extend to fourth amendment consensual encounters involving a minor.
This reviewing court said that the holding in J.D.B. should apply to a fourth amendment analysis when determining whether an encounter between a minor and law enforcement was consensual.
A 13-year-old youth would not have believed he or she could have denied the officer’s two requests to “come here” and avoid the police without raising further suspicion.
But since the kid was breaking curfew the court said the stop was a justified Terry stop.
Police officers observed 13-year-old Elijah outside after 11:00 p.m.
The officers reasonably suspected an ordinance violation based on the late hour of the night which justified the stop.
In this case, the totality of the circumstances justified a Terry stop.
The curfew ordinance violation made the intrusion reasonable under Terry.
- More Illinois Search & Seizure Cases
- Episode 325 – People v. Qurash, 2017 IL App (1st) 143412 (March) (When An Officer Says “Come Here” That May Be A Command And A Seizure)
- Episode 219 – People v. Williams, 2016 IL App (1st) 132615 (August) (The Words “Come Here” Mean Drugs Had To Be Suppressed)