C.D.Cal.: Gang tattoo, baggy clothing, high crime area was RS

“Here, Officer Wardle considered an amalgam of factors: Ortiz was stopped in a high-crime area; he had a clearly visible gang tattoo; and he was wearing baggy clothing capable of concealing a weapon. While the Officers in this case did not witness a suspected drug deal in close proximity, Officer Wardle clearly saw Ortiz’s gang tattoo—a detail much more specific and less likely to be the result of happenstance than the color of a defendant’s clothing (which was accepted in Navarro). Taken together, those considerations conferred reasonable suspicion that Ortiz could be armed and dangerous, justifying a patdown for officer safety.” United States v. Ortiz, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20005 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2024).

While defendant’s arrest in his house without a warrant violated the Fourth Amendment, his later statement was not suppressed. “Having considered the Report, Defendant’s objections, and Harris, the Court thinks the most accurate reading of Harris is that the station house confession is admissible because, since it is undisputed officers had probable cause to arrest Defendant, it is the fruit of Defendant’s lawful custody after the illegal arrest and illegal entry. At the end of the day, though, this ruling is somewhat of a Pyrrhic victory for Defendant. As even he acknowledges in raising this objection, …, Harris’s holding supports the Report’s conclusion that Defendant’s statements at the police station following his arrest-lawful or not-need not be suppressed.” United States v. Brooks, 2024 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19101 (W.D. Tenn. Feb. 2, 2024).*

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