Hanging Out in a Drug Prone Location in New York

In People v. Brogdon, 8 A.D.3d 290, 778 N.Y.S.2d 45 (2nd Dept. 2004), a police officer observed the defendant "hanging out" in the vestibule of a residential building known to be a drug prone location. The officer observed the defendant speaking to a man who had been banned from the premises and had been arrested several times for drug possession. The defendant, who was holding two plastic shopping bags, and the man left the building together when the officer approached. As the officer made eye contact with him, the defendant turned and ran with the two bags. The officer pursued and recovered a loaded handgun in one of the bags. The Appellate Division, Second Department, in suppressing the handgun, found that there were no specific circumstances indicating that the defendant might be engaged in criminal activity. Therefore, the police could not lawfully pursue the defendant.