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COMMONWEALTH PENNSYLVANIA v. JESSE BENSON (10/05/78)

decided: October 5, 1978.

COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA
v.
JESSE BENSON, APPELLANT



No. 3 January Term, 1977, Appeal from an Order of the Superior Court of Pennsylvania, Affirming the Judgments of Sentence of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County, Trial Division, Criminal Section, Imposed on Indictment Nos. 1821-22, December Sessions, 1974.

COUNSEL

John W. Packel, Chief, Appeals Div., Albert J. Smite, Jr., Philadelphia, for appellant.

Edward G. Rendell, Dist. Atty., Steven H. Goldblatt, Deputy Dist. Atty., for Law, Robert B. Lawler, Chief, Appeals Div., Marianne E. Cox, Asst. Dist. Atty., Philadelphia, for appellee.

Eagen, C. J., and O'Brien, Roberts, Pomeroy, Nix and Larsen, JJ. Manderino, J., did not participate in the decision or consideration of this case. Roberts, J., filed a dissenting opinion in which Eagen, C. J., joined.

Author: Per Curiam

[ 482 Pa. Page 2]

OPINION OF THE COURT

In this appeal, appellant challenges the legitimacy of the investigatory stop and the subsequent arrest. We find the contentions meritless.

Judgments of sentence affirmed.

ROBERTS, Justice, dissenting.

The majority concludes that, upon a motion to suppress, the Commonwealth need not offer any basis for issuance of a radio report relied upon exclusively by the police officer stopping appellant Jesse Benson. I dissent. Like any other police conduct, the decision to issue a radio report upon which investigating officers rely is not immune from scrutiny under the Constitution.

A Philadelphia police officer stopped appellant while appellant was driving an automobile. The officer, before making the stop, did not observe appellant violating any traffic laws, the Crimes Code, or otherwise engaging in suspicious behavior. Rather, the sole justification for the stop was the officer's linking appellant to a previously broadcasted police radio report. The officer had no personal

[ 482 Pa. Page 3]

    knowledge of the basis for the radio report, and no independent ...


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