Does ''Spreading Legs and Placing Hands on Head'' Constitutes Consent to Police Search ?

In People v. Anthony, 198 Ill. 2d 194, 202, 761 N.E.2d 1188, 260 Ill. Dec. 632 (2001), an officer requested consent to search the defendant's person for weapons; the defendant responded by spreading his legs apart and placing his hands on his head. Our supreme court found this gesture to be ambiguous, susceptible to dueling inferences of consent and submission to a uniformed officer who had just asked him accusatory questions, in essence telling the officer to do what he had to do. Anthony, 198 Ill. 2d at 203. the court held, was not voluntary consent to search.