CA11: Nervousness and some other things don’t rise to RS

There was no reasonable suspicion for defendant’s continued detention after his traffic stop. The officer testified he was more nervous than normal, but the court couldn’t see it on the video. Each of the government’s arguments for reasonable suspicion on the totality is rejected, and the suppression order is affirmed. United States v. Byron, 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 17523 (11th Cir. June 4, 2020)*:

While reasonable suspicion is a less demanding standard than probable cause, an officer cannot engage in a fishing expedition based solely on a hunch that illegal activity may be afoot. Powell, 222 F.3d at 917 (quotation marks omitted). As McGaha testified, he could not explain what criminal activity he suspected, and he asked several broadly worded questions to “find out what might be going on.” Construing the record in Byron’s favor, we agree with the district court’s conclusion that, viewing the circumstances objectively, McGaha was operating on nothing more than an unparticularized hunch of criminal activity that was insufficient to satisfy the Fourth Amendment. The fact that McGaha’s hunch ultimately turned out to be correct “is irrelevant for purposes of the Fourth Amendment.” Perkins, 348 F.3d at 971 (quotation marks omitted).

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