Indiana Gets its Own Hawkins Ruling

In PA the ruling was called Commonwealth v. Hawkins, and ruled that an anonymous, unsubstantiated report of a “man with a gun” was not sufficient evidence to justify a Terry stop. Now it looks like Indiana has a version of the same.

5 thoughts on “Indiana Gets its Own Hawkins Ruling”

  1. This goes well beyond Hawkins, in that it says nothing about “anonymous” or “unsubstantiated”. The officer was right there. The guy admitted he had a gun.

  2. Georgia has a similar precedent as Indiana from State v. Jones (289 Ga. App. 176 2008):
    After an officer seized a rifle from plain view and ran the serial number to see if it was stolen, the Court of Appeals ruled that an officer does not have “carte blanch authority” to secure all weapons at a traffic stop. In order to justify a search of a vehicle for weapons, some conduct on the part of the occupants such as furtive movements or other indications of danger to the officer must be shown, and the officer must have an “objectively reasonable” belief that the occupants of a vehicle are “potentially dangerous.”

  3. Tam is correct, their ruling goes farther than Hawkins does explicitly. Though there is some speculation that it goes further. I tend to want to read it narrowly, however. I don’t trust judges to do the right thing.

  4. As an aside, I once got written up by a Georgia State Patrolman for 90 in a 55 in my old Porsche. During the entire citing process, there were five pistols lying in plain view on the passenger seat, and neither of us said one word in reference to them.

    I remember thinking to myself “You know you’re out in the country when…

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