714 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2013), 12-3317, United States v. Collins

Docket Nº:12-3317.
Citation:714 F.3d 540
Opinion Judge:PER CURIAM.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. Johnnie C. COLLINS, Defendant-Appellant.
Attorney:David E. Hollar (argued), Office of the United States Attorney, Hammond, IN, for Plaintiff-Appellee. Donald C. Swanson, Jr., Attorney, Haller & Colvin PC, Andrew L. Teel (argued), Attorney, Steele, Ulmschneider & Malloy, LLP, Fort Wayne, IN, for Defendant-Appellant.
Judge Panel:Before MANION, WOOD, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:April 18, 2013
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 540

714 F.3d 540 (7th Cir. 2013)

UNITED STATES of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,

v.

Johnnie C. COLLINS, Defendant-Appellant.

No. 12-3317.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

April 18, 2013

Argued March 6, 2013.

Page 541

David E. Hollar (argued), Office of the United States Attorney, Hammond, IN, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Donald C. Swanson, Jr., Attorney, Haller & Colvin PC, Andrew L. Teel (argued), Attorney, Steele, Ulmschneider & Malloy, LLP, Fort Wayne, IN, for Defendant-Appellant.

Before MANION, WOOD, and SYKES, Circuit Judges.

PER CURIAM.

Johnnie Collins fled police officers by car and then by foot after he was stopped for speeding. An officer kicked Collins repeatedly and dosed him with pepper spray, but Collins did not stop resisting until another officer deployed his Taser. Afterward, the officers discovered a bag containing crack and powder cocaine that Collins had discarded during the foot chase, as well as a wad of cash in his pocket. After Collins was charged with possession of crack and powder cocaine with intent to distribute, he moved to suppress the drugs and money on the principal ground that they were obtained through the use of excessive force. The district court denied the motion to suppress, explaining that under United States v. Watson, 558 F.3d 702, 705 (7th Cir.2009), the use of excessive force during an arrest is not a basis for suppressing evidence. Moreover, the court reasoned, the drugs and money were not seized as a result of the alleged use of excessive force. On appeal Collins challenges this ruling, specifically arguing that we should overturn Watson . We reject his arguments and affirm the judgment.

I. Background

The following account is drawn from the testimony of three Fort Wayne, Indiana police officers who testified at the hearing on Collins's motion to suppress. Collins did not introduce any evidence.

The discovery of the drugs and money was set in motion when Officer Stephen

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Ealing stopped Collins for speeding. Collins stepped out of his car, and when Ealing instructed him to get back inside, Collins sped away through red lights and stop signs in a residential neighborhood. Ealing gave chase but his lieutenant eventually ordered him to abandon his pursuit. At about the same time, Collins crashed into a stop sign. Collins then ran from the scene and, within a few seconds, threw a small bag into the bushes. Ealing pursued Collins on foot, and Collins repeatedly disregarded the officer's instructions to stop.

When Ealing finally caught up to him, Collins continued to resist. Trying to subdue him, Ealing elbowed him in the neck and back. Collins still did not submit, so Ealing discharged pepper spray in his face. A fight ensued; Collins swung at Ealing, who responded with more pepper spray and repeated kicks to the stomach and groin. Collins still resisted, ignoring commands to get on the ground. At that point Officer Kenneth Johnson arrived and saw Collins fighting with Officer Ealing. Johnson announced that he possessed a Taser, but Collins would not surrender and get on the ground. Johnson then deployed the Taser, and Collins fell to the ground but still refused to put his hands behind his back. Only after Johnson deployed the Taser again were the officers able to gain control over Collins and handcuff him.

After the arrest the police officers retrieved the bag that Collins had thrown into the bushes during the foot chase. A...

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