State v. Jackson, Nos. 87-1374-C

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
Writing for the CourtBABLITCH; ABRAHAMSON
Citation147 Wis.2d 824,434 N.W.2d 386
Docket Number87-1375-CR,Nos. 87-1374-C
Decision Date25 January 1989
PartiesSTATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. David William JACKSON, Defendant-Appellant.

Page 386

434 N.W.2d 386
147 Wis.2d 824
STATE of Wisconsin, Plaintiff-Respondent,
v.
David William JACKSON, Defendant-Appellant.
Nos. 87-1374-CR, 87-1375-CR.
Supreme Court of Wisconsin.
Argued Nov. 3, 1988.
Decided Jan. 25, 1989.

Page 387

[147 Wis.2d 825] Glenn L. Cushing, Asst. State Public Defender, for defendant-appellant.

David J. Becker, Asst. Atty. Gen. (argued), Donald J. Hanaway, Atty. Gen. (on brief), for plaintiff-respondent.

BABLITCH, Justice.

The issue before us is whether the flight of an individual upon sighting the police can provide reasonable suspicion justifying [147 Wis.2d 826] a temporary investigative stop. We conclude that the totality of the circumstances here led the officer to reasonably suspect that David William Jackson (Jackson) was committing, was about to commit, or had committed a crime. Accordingly, the officer was justified in temporarily stopping Jackson, thereby freezing the situation in order to further investigate.

While patrolling in the city of Racine at approximately 2:00 a.m. on October 30, 1986, Officer James Dobbs of the Racine Police Department responded to a call regarding a possible stabbing. The officer testified that as the squad car approached the area, "a person ran from me." Officer Dobbs left the squad car and pursued him on foot. The individual eventually evaded the officer, but only after running through yards and jumping fences.

After losing sight of the person, the officer returned to the squad car and learned that the stabbing report was false. However, another officer who arrived at the scene informed officer Dobbs that the person who ran from him "had warrants," and that was the reason he fled.

Approximately one-half hour later, officer Dobbs observed an individual, accompanied by two other men, whose clothing and physical description matched the person who fled. Officer Dobbs testified that he stopped this person, later identified as Jackson, "to find out if he was the party that I had chased and possibly had warrants." It is this stop that is the basis of the appeal.

Officer Dobbs then noticed that Jackson had fresh blood stains on his jeans and cuts on his right hand. Dobbs testified that this observation corroborated his suspicion that Jackson was the individual who fled, as [147 Wis.2d 827] "he could have started bleeding from jumping fences through the yards as I was chasing him."

Officer Dobbs asked for identification. Jackson gave the false name of William Jones. Officer Dobbs contacted the record bureau to get a description of the person who allegedly had warrants outstanding on him. The description did not match Jackson, and he was released.

Page 388

Shortly after releasing Jackson, officer Dobbs was advised to be on the lookout for individuals in the neighborhood who were possible suspects in a school burglary. He was informed that one or more of them might be bleeding. The officer went to a nearby convenience store to which Jackson and his companions had indicated they were going after being released. He found the individuals at the store and contacted an officer investigating the burglary, who then came to the convenience store and brought with him shoeprints found on papers at the school. The shoeprints matched that of Jackson and one of his companions. The third individual's shoes did not match the shoeprints but a bag he was carrying contained a brown telephone. The officers radioed the school and were informed that the telephone matched the description of a phone stolen in the burglary. Jackson and his companions were then arrested for the burglary of the school.

Meanwhile, an officer who took a report of an armed robbery elsewhere in town involving three males was advised that three males had been taken into custody for the school burglary. The officer went to the scene of the arrest, viewed the individuals, and concluded that they matched the description of the robbers. Jackson and his companions were taken to the robbery victim. He positively identified Jackson [147 Wis.2d 828] and one of the others as his assailants. With respect to Jackson's third companion, the victim stated that it was possible he was the third party involved in the robbery, but he was not certain. The three were then taken to police headquarters. At some point, the officers also found a knife in Jackson's back pocket. The robbery victim reported that one of the accomplices had a knife.

Jackson moved to suppress the identification and all of the physical evidence on the ground that his initial stop, which was about one-half hour after he fled from the officer, was improper. The trial judge denied the motions. Jackson then pleaded no contest on reduced charges of attempted robbery as party to a crime, and burglary as party to a crime. He was sentenced to concurrent five years imprisonment on each count. We accepted certification of the consolidated appeals pursuant to sec. (Rule) 809.61, Stats.

On appeal, Jackson states the issue as follows:

The state failed to meet its burden of proving that the officer who stopped the defendant had 'specific and articulable facts' available to him which amounted to 'reasonable suspicion' of criminal activity and the stop of the defendant was therefore unconstitutional requiring the suppression of all observations, evidence, and identifications which were the fruit of that stop. Defendant's brief at 7. (Capitalization deleted.)

The state argues: 1) the officer could reasonably suspect the defendant of some present or past unlawful activity simply from his flight from the officer's approach to what the officer then believed to be the scene of a stabbing; 2) the fellow officer's report that the individual who had fled from the scene of the [147 Wis.2d 829] alleged stabbing was wanted on some outstanding warrants justified the stop; 3) the combination of the two was sufficient.

In reviewing a denial of a suppression motion, we will uphold the trial court's findings of fact unless they are against the great weight and clear preponderance of the evidence. Whether those facts satisfy the constitutional requirement of reasonableness presents a question of law, and therefore we are not bound by the lower court's decisions on that issue. See State v. Guzy, 139 Wis.2d 663, 671, 407 N.W.2d 548 (1987).

Jackson acknowledges that the validity of an initial stop turns on whether the officer can point to specific and articulable facts, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, which lead to a reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is possibly afoot. However, Jackson insists that flight at the appearance of the police cannot by itself provide the articulable suspicion necessary to warrant an investigative stop, particularly when the flight is not from the scene of a crime. Jackson would have this court establish a rule that suspicion

Page 389

occasioned by an individual's flight from police, without more, is unreasonable per se. We...

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251 practice notes
  • State v. Blatterman, No. 2013AP2107–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • May 5, 2015
    ...standard in Wis. Stat. § 968.24. When we interpret § 968.24, we rely on Terry and the cases following it. State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 830–31, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1989).¶ 19 According to Wis. Stat. § 968.24, an officer may conduct a temporary investigatory detention when “the officer reaso......
  • State v. Martwick, No. 98-0101-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 19, 2000
    ...575 (Ct. App. 1983). See also State v. Michels, 141 Wis. 2d 81, 90, 414 N.W.2d 311 (Ct. App. 1987). 9. See, e.g., State v. Jackson, 147 Wis. 2d 824, 829, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1999); Isiah B. v. State, 176 Wis. 2d 639, 646, 500 N.W.2d 637 (1993); State v. Anderson, 165 Wis. 2d 441, 447, 477 N.W.2......
  • Jones v. State, No. 115, 1998.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • December 16, 1999
    ...("[D]eliberately furtive actions and flight at the approach of ... law officers are strong indicia of mens rea."); State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 434 N.W.2d 386, 390-91 (1989) (stating that flight upon observing squad car afforded officer reasonable 20. 392 U.S. at 19 n. 16, 88 S.Ct. 186......
  • State v. Post, No. 2005AP2778-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • May 23, 2007
    ...alone fell short of the probable cause necessary to make an arrest. Waldner, 206 Wis.2d at 59, 556 N.W.2d 681 (citing State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 835, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1989)); see Terry, 392 U.S. at 22-23, 88 S.Ct. 1868. We therefore determine that a driver's actions need not be errati......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
251 cases
  • State v. Blatterman, No. 2013AP2107–CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • May 5, 2015
    ...standard in Wis. Stat. § 968.24. When we interpret § 968.24, we rely on Terry and the cases following it. State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 830–31, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1989).¶ 19 According to Wis. Stat. § 968.24, an officer may conduct a temporary investigatory detention when “the officer reaso......
  • State v. Martwick, No. 98-0101-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • January 19, 2000
    ...575 (Ct. App. 1983). See also State v. Michels, 141 Wis. 2d 81, 90, 414 N.W.2d 311 (Ct. App. 1987). 9. See, e.g., State v. Jackson, 147 Wis. 2d 824, 829, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1999); Isiah B. v. State, 176 Wis. 2d 639, 646, 500 N.W.2d 637 (1993); State v. Anderson, 165 Wis. 2d 441, 447, 477 N.W.2......
  • Jones v. State, No. 115, 1998.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Delaware
    • December 16, 1999
    ...("[D]eliberately furtive actions and flight at the approach of ... law officers are strong indicia of mens rea."); State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 434 N.W.2d 386, 390-91 (1989) (stating that flight upon observing squad car afforded officer reasonable 20. 392 U.S. at 19 n. 16, 88 S.Ct. 186......
  • State v. Post, No. 2005AP2778-CR.
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Wisconsin
    • May 23, 2007
    ...alone fell short of the probable cause necessary to make an arrest. Waldner, 206 Wis.2d at 59, 556 N.W.2d 681 (citing State v. Jackson, 147 Wis.2d 824, 835, 434 N.W.2d 386 (1989)); see Terry, 392 U.S. at 22-23, 88 S.Ct. 1868. We therefore determine that a driver's actions need not be errati......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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