A district court judge in Nassau County threw out a search of a car due to the fact that the reason the police officers gave for searching the car could not be substantiated. The occupants in the car were charged with weapons possession (which includes charges for violent crimes, both felonies and misdemeanors)
At the time, the officers testified that they were patrolling “hot spots” which were known for narcotic sales and gang activity. While on this patrol, they noticed four males walking down the street. The officers though the males clothing represented gang colors. The four males went into a car.
The officers approached the car and shined their flashlights into the passenger compartment. One of the officers observed what he says was “the butt end of a knife”. The officers proceeded to have the men leave the vehicle and thereafter the vehicle was searched. The search turned up a gravity knife (similar to a switchblade).
The court ruled that the officers failed to state a credible objective reason for approaching the defendants. The judge found that the testimony concerning “gang colors” was not credible. The court concluded that the evidence acquired pursuant to the search should be deemed inadmissible and thrown out. The misdemeanor and felony charges against the defendants for weapons possession were dismissed.
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