Precedent: St. John v. Alamogordo Police Order
St. John's Claim for Unreasonable Search
If, during the course of a valid investigatory detention, an officer has an articulable and
reasonable suspicion that a suspect is armed and dangerous, the officer may conduct a limited
protective search. U.S. v. Davis, 94 F.3d 1465, 1468 (10th Cir. 1996). Such a search must be
"reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first
place," Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 20 (1968), and should be limited to ensuring that the suspect is
unarmed. King, 990 F.2d at 1558 (citing Sibron v. New York, 392 U.S. 40 (1968)).
As discussed above, Defendants' detention of Mr. St. John was not a "valid investigatory
detention." Defendants had no reason to suspect that Mr. St. John was involved in, or was about
to become involved in, any criminal activity. Nor did they have any reason to believe that Mr. St.
John posed a safety threat. Accordingly, Defendants' search of Mr. St. John was invalid.
Case 6:08-cv-00994-BB-LAM Document 48 Filed 09/08/2009 Page 10 of 16
Additionally, Defendants lacked any reasonable suspicion for believing that Mr. St. John
was armed and dangerous, as required by Tenth Circuit jurisprudence. See Davis, 94 F.3d at
1468. Defendants ask the Court to ignore the conjunctive phrasing of the rule and find, in
essence, that anyone who is armed is, by virtue of that fact, dangerous. In light of the extensive,
controlling and compelling jurisprudence to the contrary, the Court declines to do so.