Out-of-court Photographic Identification in New York

In People v. Allah (57 AD3d 1115, 868 NYS2d 822 [3d Dept 2008], lv denied 12 NY3d 780, 906 NE2d 1091, 879 NYS2d 57 [2009]), the driver of a vehicle fled on foot as the police officer witness attempted to make a routine traffic stop. After he found a debit card with the defendant's name in the vehicle, the officer identified the defendant from a single photograph associated with defendant's name that he found on the Internet. The Allah Court held that the police officer's out-of-court photographic identification of defendant was not confirmatory because the officer neither knew defendant personally nor encountered defendant in a planned undercover buy-and-bust operation. The Court, however, declined to reverse defendant's conviction on this ground because clear and convincing evidence at defendant's pretrial Wade hearing demonstrated that the officer's observations of the defendant provided an independent source for his in-court identification of the defendant at trial. (People v. Allah, 57 AD3d at 1118.)