People v. Fletcher – Case Brief Summary (New York)

In People v. Fletcher, 130 AD3d 1063, 15 N.Y.S.3d 797 (2d Dept. 2015), the Second Department found, in factual circumstances similar to those here, that suppression of a firearm recovered from the defendant was not warranted.

There, the arresting officer testified that he had extensive experience with firearm arrests, that he had been trained to recognize the behavior of people carrying firearms and that people most commonly carry firearms in their waistband. Id. at 1064.

The officer testified that as he rode past the defendant -- who was walking -- the two made eye contact. Id. The defendant then made a movement to adjust his waistband, and in the process pushed aside his jacket and revealed a rectangular shape under his clothing that the officer believed to be the outline of a firearm handle. Id.

The Court found that those circumstances, coupled with the officer's experience and training, were sufficient to permit him to request information from the defendant. Id. at 1065.

Then, when the defendant increased his walking pace after the officer and his partner got out of their car and announced their presence, they had reasonable suspicion to stop and frisk him. Id.