Does An Encounter Which Demonstrates a Show of Authotity Constitute a Restrain on An Individual's Liberty ?
In Commonwealth v. Lewis, 535 Pa. 501, 636 A.2d 619 (Pa. 1994), the Supreme Court considered an encounter at an Amtrak station where officers approached two travelers who, again, fit a drug courier profile. the officers, dressed in plain clothes, approached the men, identified themselves and began asking a few questions of them.
As the men provided answers that raised suspicions, coupled with a nervous look, the encounter escalated until a search took place that resulted in the finding of a handgun.
An additional search yielded a packet of cocaine.
The Supreme Court reversed the decision of this court, which upheld the trial court's denial of a suppression motion.
The Supreme Court concluded that, considering the totality of the circumstances, the encounter demonstrated a show of authority which constituted a restrain on the individuals' liberty. Lewis, 636 A.2d at 623.