IL: Mere presence in a high crime area isn’t RS; action required, too

Mere presence in a Chicago high crime neighborhood is not reasonable suspicion. Otherwise, every resident of the neighborhood would be stopped. It requires some suspicious action as well. People v. Salgado, 2019 IL App (1st) 171377, 2019 Ill. App. LEXIS 742 (Sept. 9, 2019):

[*P25] The fact that the stop occurred in a high crime area is a relevant contextual consideration in any Terry analysis. Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119, 124, 120 S. Ct. 673, 145 L. Ed. 2d 570 (2000). A police officer is “not required to ignore the relevant characteristics of a location in determining whether the circumstances are sufficiently suspicious to warrant further investigation.” Id.

[*P26] But to be clear, defendant’s mere presence in the 3800 block of West 30th street on October 16, 2016, standing alone, is not enough justify a Terry stop. People v. Harris, 2011 IL App (1st) 103382, ¶ 12, 957 N.E.2d 930, 354 Ill. Dec. 336. We are mindful that well-intentioned, law-abiding citizens live in Chicago neighborhoods that are plagued by gang violence and crime, and that merely walking on the sidewalk in those areas does not, on its own, justify an investigatory stop. But we have no such situation here. Conduct, not mere presence in the high crime area, is at issue in this case.

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