Is a Police Radio Dispatch About a Criminal Act In Progress Admissible In Court ?
In People v. Edgecombe, 317 Ill. App. 3d 615, 627, 739 N.E.2d 914, 250 Ill. Dec. 917 (2000), the trial court erred in admitting an officer's testimony about a radio call that a vehicle's occupants had fled after a vehicle stop; that the police apprehended one occupant (who later became the defendant); and that the vehicle matched the description of the getaway vehicle in an armed robbery. Edgecombe, 317 Ill. App. 3d at 627 (1st Dist.) (we reversed and remanded on other grounds).
In People v. Warlick, 302 Ill. App. 3d 595, 598-99, 707 N.E.2d 214, 236 Ill. Dec. 369 (1998), the trial court erred in admitting an officer's testimony that he had received a radio call about "a burglary in progress," when the sole defense at trial was that defendant had been seeking shelter, not to burglarize. Warlick, 302 Ill. App. 3d at 600-01 (1st Dist.) (however, we held that the error was harmless).
Compare with People v. Townsend, 275 Ill. App. 3d 200, 203, 206, 655 N.E.2d 982, 211 Ill. Dec. 599 (1st Dist. 1995) (a police radio dispatch about an "armed robbery in progress" was admissible, where the issue at trial was whether defendant had committed the robbery, not whether a robbery had occurred.).