Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

SDNY Update: Gun Suppressed; Anonymous Tip Did Not Justify Stop

Last week, SDNY Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald suppressed a gun that was obtained following a stop based on an anonymous tip.  You can read the decision in United States v. Oden here.

In suppressing the gun, the Court held that the information conveyed by an anonymous caller “neither explained how [the 911 Caller] knew about the gun nor supplied any basis for believing [she] had inside information about [Mr. Oden].”  The tip contained a specific description of “relatively distinctive apparel” (a bright orange sweatshirt and army shorts), but this “does not bolster the tip’s reliability ‘in its assertion of illegality.'”  Where all that the officers responding to the call corroborate relates to the subject’s description and whereabouts, as opposed to the alleged illegality, the tip lacks sufficient indicia of reliability.  Nothing in the record justified treating the 911 call as fitting into a narrow emergency-related exception.

Julia Gatto of the Federal Defenders of New York represents Mr. Oden.

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