NAME: State vs. Tucker
FACTS: The defendant fled upon seeing the approach of a marked police car. The officers pursued the defendant and also requested backup from a nearby patrol car to attempt to set up a blockade. When defendant was caught he dropped a packet containing cocaine. After filing an unsuccessful motion to suppress the evidence obtained in the encounter, the defendant pleaded guilty to third degree possession of narcotics with intent to distribute. The defendant then appealed the suppression ruling and the appellate court reversed the trial court’s original ruling. On appeal, the state argued that the police did not seize the defendant within the meaning of 4th Amendment of the Constitution and the police had sufficient grounds to seize the defendant and the defendant’s abandoned drugs. The court held that holing the defendant was seizure under New Jersey constitutional law because the police’s actions would have caused a reasonable person to believe that the police wanted to capture him and not just to speak with him so the seizure was not justified because the sole basis for the police action was defendant's flight, without other suspicion of criminal activity. The goods were not abandoned because the abandonment was the product of an illegal seizure.
ISSUE: Whether flight alone is enough for reasonable suspicion for police to seize a person without other suspicion of criminal activity. If the abandonment of evidence during the seizure should be suppressed as an illegal seizure, under the 4th Amendment of the Constitution, after the defendant fled from the police.
RULE: In an action to appeal the trial court’s decision on the suppression of evidence the defendant must prove that the police’s seizure of an abandoned cocaine packet after flight isn’t constitution under the Fourth Amendment.
ANALYSIS: Here the court affirmed the appellate court’s decision to reverse the finding of the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress...