The supreme court is deciding whether or not police can follow and detain a suspect, while waiting on a search warrant. Even after a suspect leaves the area that police want to search.
The high court will hear an appeal from Chunon Bailey, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison on drug and weapons charges.
Bailey had left his building with the apartment that police wanted to search for a gun before a warrant had arrived. An unmarked police car followed Bailey for more than a mile, then police detained him and brought him back to the building. The warrant arrived, and police found drugs and weapons, they arrested Bailey, who had an apartment key in his pocket.
Bailey is claiming that police unconstitutionally stopped him on the street and brought him back to his apartment. The trial judge ruled that if police could detain someone who was leaving a place during search, then police could also follow someone who has left the place being searched and bring them back.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals refused to throw out his conviction, but other federal appeals courts have ruled that police cannot follow and detain people just to bring them back to a place that has not been searched yet. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the fall.
The case is Bailey v. United States, 11-770.
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