N.D.Ala.: Nailed down plywood sheet wasn’t subject to removal under protective sweep but other exigency for search shown

Police entered because of a hostage situation. Removal of a nailed down plywood cover wasn’t valid as a protective sweep, but it was under exigent circumstances. United States v. Cooks, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83992 (N.D.Ala. April 28, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82811 (N.D. Ala. May 31, 2017).

Defendant was in a rented car that wasn’t rented by him, and his passenger was subject to an arrest warrant. The officer told him to “hold tight” while he checked on whether the state with the warrant would extradite. When he found out that they would, he was willing to let defendant drive off in the rented car as a courtesy. The delay was reasonable and didn’t involve his rights. As for a dog sniff, “[u]nder the circumstances, the officers had reasonable suspicion to prolong the stop (if it was prolonged at all) to conduct the sniff.” United States v. Simeon, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83991 (N.D.Ala. March 26, 2017), adopted, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 82813 (N.D. Ala. May 31, 2017).*

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