CA11: Def’s stop on another driver’s tip was RS

A driver’s tip was sufficiently corroborated to be reasonable suspicion. At defendant’s stop, “Demeanor counts for a lot.” United States v. Martinez, 2021 U.S. App. LEXIS 9480 (11th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021):

The evidence in this case, viewed in the light most favorable to the government, supports the district court’s determination that the Kia driver’s tip bore sufficient indicia of reliability. First, we have said that “[a] face-to-face anonymous tip is presumed to be inherently more reliable than an anonymous telephone tip because the officers receiving the information have an opportunity to observe the demeanor and perceived credibility of the informant.” See United States v. Heard, 367 F.3d 1275, 1279 (11th Cir. 2004). Demeanor counts for a lot. Although Officer Vargas’s face-to-face interaction with the Kia driver was brief, Officer Vargas observed immediately that the Kia driver appeared “very nervous” and “super afraid.” Based on the driver’s demeanor and on Officer Vargas’s experience, Officer Vargas believed reasonably that the driver’s testimony was credible.

Other pertinent circumstances that weigh in favor of the tip’s reliability are (1) that the Kia driver witnessed personally the reported incident, (2) was reporting an incident that had just happened, and (3) identified the specific car involved. In Navarette, the Supreme Court determined that an anonymous 911 caller’s report that a truck had just run her off the road bore sufficient indicia of reliability to support a traffic stop. …

This entry was posted in Reasonable suspicion. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.