OK: Off-duty out of jurisdiction officer could make a citizen’s arrest

An off-duty police officer was driving from Tulsa where he worked to neighboring Broken Bow in his police car when he was passed by defendant speeding. He didn’t take action until the driving got otherwise erratic, nearly hitting the concrete barrier after crossing two lanes of traffic. His stop was justified as a citizen’s arrest as supported by Oklahoma statute, albeit with lights from his patrol car, because she was a danger to herself or others. He was going to let Broken Bow PD handle it. The exclusionary rule should not be applied. State v. Keefe, 2017 OK CR 3, 2017 Okla. Crim. App. LEXIS 2 (Jan. 31, 2017):

[*P14] The facts here clearly fit within the public safety exception as established herein. As Judge Hiddle determined, Appellee’s “gross recklessness” created an urgent situation endangering the safety of Appellee and other citizens on the roadway at that time. Officer Rogers acted under a reasonable belief that he could no longer wait for a Broken Arrow police officer to arrive and intervene. Thus, Officer Rogers’ primary purpose and motivation for effecting the stop with the aid of his lights and sirens was to secure the safety of Appellee and others. No other course of action assured his ability to swiftly stop Appellee and neutralize the situation. Once Appellee was stopped, Officer Rogers’ actions comported with 22 O.S.2011, § 205, which provides “[a] private person who has arrested another for the commission of a public offense, must, without unnecessary delay, take him before a magistrate or deliver him to a peace officer.” Having already previously alerted the Broken Arrow Police Department, Officer Rogers simply detained Appellee and awaited the arrival of local law enforcement so that they could take the matter over and conduct an investigation.

[*P15] As a final note, justice is not served by the application of the exclusionary rule under the circumstances of this case. “[T]he ‘prime purpose’ of the exclusionary rule ‘is to deter future unlawful police conduct and thereby effectuate the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.’” State v. Sittingdown, 2010 OK CR 22, ¶ 18, 240 P.3d 714, 718 (quoting Illinois v. Krull, 480 U.S. 340, 347, 107 S. Ct. 1160, 1165-66, 94 L. Ed. 2d 364 (1987)). Assuming arguendo that the evidence obtained here was the product of an illegal search, the evidence was not “come at by exploitation of that illegality[, but rather] by means sufficiently distinguishable to be purged of the primary taint.” Baxter v. State, 2010 OK CR 20, ¶ 9, 238 P.3d 934, 937 (quoting Wong Sun v. United States, 371 U.S. 471, 488, 83 S. Ct. 407, 417, 9 L. Ed. 2d 441 (1963)). Officer Rogers’ motivation for stopping Appellee in the manner in which he did was to remove her from the roadway and prevent a grave accident. Having just completed his shift, Officer Rogers simply wanted to go home that night. His intent was never to arrest Appellee and gather evidence against her. Once Appellee was stopped, Officer Rogers detained her and awaited the arrival of local police. Moreover, his prior dispatch communications with the Broken Arrow Police Department assured their intervention. Officer Rogers intended to follow Appellee until such intervention occurred. Therefore, discovery of the suppressed evidence by lawful means was inevitable. Nix v. Williams, 467 U.S. 431, 444, 104 S. Ct. 2501, 2509, 81 L. Ed. 2d 377 (1984).

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