PA & CA2: Approaching def to talk to him about what’s in his bag was not a seizure

“Consistent with this precedent, we find the officers did not subject Appellant to a seizure when they approached him in a public place and asked him what was inside his bag. The interaction remained a mere encounter as the officers were free to ask Appellant questions without implicating the Fourth Amendment as long as they did not convey a message that Appellant was required to comply with their request. Our review of the instant case does not reveal any circumstances that showed the officers’ request for information was accompanied by a mandate to comply, physical restraint, or any show of authority. The officers merely asked Appellant about the contents of his bag. We agree with the trial court’s conclusion that the interaction remained a mere encounter upon their inquiry to Appellant.” Commonwealth v. Singleton, 2017 PA Super 264, 2017 Pa. Super. LEXIS 617 (Aug. 17, 2017).

Similar is United States v. Serrano, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 15343 (2d Cir. Aug. 16, 2017). Note: The court also held that the affidavit in support of the motion to suppress was somewhat different on material facts to get the suppression hearing and that undermined the defendant’s credibility.

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