CA10: Consent was attenuated from alleged unlawful stop despite def’s real urgency to go pee

The government proved that defendant’s consent was attentuated from the alleged unlawful detention because the paperwork during the stop was given back. The district court considered the fact defendant complained she had to pee really bad. United States v. Ramos, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 4819 (10th Cir. Feb. 27, 2018)*:

As to the second Brown factor, the government must identify intervening events that “isolate[] the defendant from the coercive effects of the original illegal stop.” United States v. Gregory, 79 F.3d 973, 980 (10th Cir. 1996). Ramos does not challenge the district court’s conclusion that multiple intervening circumstances occurred here, i.e., Officer Campos returned Ramos’s documents to him; advised him that he was free to leave; fully explained the consent form, encouraging Ramos to ask questions; and specifically told Ramos he could revoke his earlier, verbal consent. Ramos, 194 F. Supp. 3d at 1184-85. Ramos argues, instead, that the district court erred by failing to view the intervening circumstances from his perspective. See Gregory, 79 F. 3d at 980 (stating the second Brown factor must be viewed from the “defendant’s perspective”). Ramos argues the “intervening circumstances did more to heighten the coercive atmosphere than to attenuate it.” Appellant’s Br. at 38. Specifically, he asserts Officer Campos was aware that Ms. Perez urgently needed to use the restroom and he felt pressured into responding to Officer Campos’s questions about Ms. Perez’s health condition. That questioning, he alleges, “could only have conveyed to him that he was powerless to decline the officer’s requests.” Id. This argument-that Officer Campos’s repeated refusal to permit Ms. Perez to use the restroom was a show of force-was addressed by the district court in its analysis of whether Ramos was detained at the time he consented to the search of the Mercedes. Ramos, 194 F. Supp. 3d at 1177. The court specifically concluded that Officer Campos’s refusal to permit Ms. Perez to use the restroom “conveyed that he had the authority to detain Ramos and Perez.” Id. Although the district court did not thereafter reference this conclusion when it conducted the attenuation analysis, it is clear from the record that the court was fully aware Ramos gave his consent while he was being detained. See Reeves, 524 F.3d at 1170 (noting the overlap between the voluntariness and taint analyses). Thus, the record does not support Ramos’s assertion that the court refused to analyze the second attenuation factor from his perspective.

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