CA11: When one in a group in a high crime area flinches on seeing the police, others with him are subject to investigative detention

Officers approached a group of men standing in a high crime area, and one of them flinched on seeing the police. That was reasonable suspicion as to him and at least permitted a brief detention of the others in the group for officer safety. United States v. Turner, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 5882 (11th Cir. April 5, 2017):

Because police were justified in detaining Hicks, they were also justified in detaining Turner, who was standing nearby. See Lewis, 674 F.3d at 1306. “Case precedent from both the Supreme Court and this Circuit has established that, for safety reasons, officers may, in some circumstances, briefly detain individuals about whom they have no individualized reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in the course of conducting a valid [investigatory detention] as to other related individuals.” Lewis, 674 F.3d at 1306. Here, a concern for their own safety permitted the officers “to control the movements of nearby associates and exercise command over the situation once the officers had reasonable suspicion of criminal activity that warranted further investigation.” Id. at 1308. Thus, Turner was legitimately detained alongside Hicks.

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