The stop of the juvenile in this case was without reasonable suspicion and was designed to be a show of authority. The juvenile fled, and, under the totality of circumstances, the court can’t say that it added anything to the reasonable suspicion calculus because even Wardlow recognized flight can be innocent. In re D.L., 2017 IL App (1st) 171764, 2017 Ill. App. LEXIS 771 (Dec. 14, 2017):
[*P26] Nonetheless, we acknowledge the authority cited by the State, holding that a seizure does not actually occur until the person submits and that a person’s flight from an unlawful stop may give rise to suspicion justifying a subsequent investigatory stop. See Thomas, 198 Ill. 2d at 112 (“‘The police may well convey a reasonable feeling of restraint, but that message does not amount to a seizure within the meaning of the fourth amendment until there is submission to it. A person must submit to a show of authority before that show of authority can constitute a seizure.'” (Emphasis omitted.) (quoting People v. Thomas, 315 Ill. App. 3d 849, 857, 734 N.E.2d 1015, 248 Ill. Dec. 724 (2000))); California v. Hodari D., 499 U.S. 621, 626, 111 S. Ct. 1547, 113 L. Ed. 2d 690 (1991) (holding that a seizure does not occur when there is a show of authority by an officer but the “subject does not yield”).
[*P27] The State argues, without supporting authority, that a “reasonable person innocent of a crime would not flee from the police” (emphasis in original). However, the United States and Illinois Supreme Courts have held otherwise. See Wardlow, 528 U.S. at 125 (Accepting as “undoubtedly true” that “there are innocent reasons for flight from police and that, therefore, flight is not necessarily indicative of ongoing criminal activity.”); Id. at 129 (Stevens, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ.) (finding that there are “unquestionably circumstances in which a person’s flight is suspicious, and undeniably instances in which a person runs for entirely innocent reasons”).
[*P28] Even considering respondent’s flight as part of the totality of the circumstances, we still conclude that Officer Scaduto lacked reasonable suspicion to conduct a Terry stop at the time that respondent was apprehended. Although “[u]nprovoked flight in the face of a potential encounter with police may raise enough suspicion to justify the ensuing pursuit and investigatory stop” (emphasis added) (Thomas, 198 Ill. 2d at 113), there is no bright-line rule authorizing the temporary detention of anyone who flees at the mere sight of the police (see Wardlow, 528 U.S. at 126 (Stevens, J., concurring in part and dissenting in part, joined by Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer, JJ.)). To the contrary, it is well settled that flight alone is not sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion that a person has committed, or is about to commit, a crime. People v. Hyland, 2012 IL App (1st) 110966, ¶ 32, 981 N.E.2d 414, 367 Ill. Dec. 89 (citing People v. Harris, 2011 IL App (1st) 103382, ¶ 12, 957 N.E.2d 930, 354 Ill. Dec. 336; Wardlow, 528 U.S. at 124-25). It is only when that flight is coupled with other factors that it may support reasonable suspicion justifying a Terry stop.