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United States v. Slone

United States District Court, E.D. Pennsylvania

March 17, 2017

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
v.
RAHEEM SLONE

          MEMORANDUM WITH FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

          KEARNEY, J.

          Following study of the Raheem Slone's Motion to suppress evidence of a gun holster found on him on February 13, 2016, the United States' Opposition, evaluating the credibility of officers' testimony and exhibits during our March 10, 2017 suppression hearing, and post-hearing memoranda, we deny Mr. Slone's Motion to suppress. We find the police officers credibly described reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct causing them to stop Defendant after a specifically described but anonymous citizen described him moments earlier as having a gun in a high crime area and then watching him walk away from the patrol vehicle, kneel down and stash an object taken from his right waistband into a sewer immediately below him. The officers found the gun holster on his body while securing and handcuffing him before placing him in the patrol vehicle.

         I. Findings of fact

         1. The Philadelphia Police Department employs Michael Hanuscin and Jason Metzger as police officers.

         2. Officer Hanuscin served approximately 8 years as a patrol officer in the 24th Police District as of February 13, 2016.

         3. Officer Metzger served approximately 2 years as a patrol officer on the 24 District as of February 13, 2016.

         4. The police department assigned Officers Hanuscin and Metzger to work as patrol partners in the Kensington section of the 24th Police District as of February 13, 2016.

         5. On February 13, 2016, Officers Hanuscin and Metzger were on a routine patrol in the area of 1800 East Somerset Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

         6. The Officers testified they know this area as a high crime area with open air drug sales, gun violence, and violent crime.

         7. Routine Patrol means the officers travel in a marked police cruiser wearing their Philadelphia Police Department uniforms.

         8. On this February 13, 2016 night, Officer Metzger drove the patrol car and Officer Hanuscin sat in the front passenger seat.

         9. Officer Metzger testified they were stopped at a red light at the intersection of Kensington Avenue, Somerset Street and D Street in their police cruiser at 12:20 A.M.

         10. The Officers were in the southbound lane of Kensington Avenue.

         11. At the intersection, a thin African-American woman unknown to the Officers exited a bar door to the Officers' right and approached the passenger side window of the marked police cruiser. This unidentified woman stated "he's got a gun" to Officer Hanuscin in front of other bystanders on the street.

         12. Officer Hanuscin observed the woman pointing and nodding with her head towards a man, later identified during our suppression hearing as Raheem Slone, walking across Kensington Avenue on Somerset Street.

         13. Officer Hanuscin testified the thin African-American woman appeared frightened to him. Officer Metzger, in the driver's seat, could not describe the woman.

         14. Officer Hanuscin observed Mr. Slone look at the police cruiser.

         15. Officer Metzger testified he made a left onto Somerset Street where Mr. Slone walked.

         16. Officer Hanuscin then observed Mr. Slone cross to the north side of 1800 East Somerset Street. Mr. Slone began walking briskly towards the corner of Ruth and Somerset Streets, approximately 100 yards away.

         17. Officer Hanuscin observed Mr. Slone look at their police cruiser several times while walking away.

         18. While we have no evidence of exact time, Officers Hanuscin and Metzger radioed for police backup.

         19. When approximately to the corner of Ruth and Somerset Streets, Officers Hanuscin and Metzger observed Mr. Slone remove an object from his right side front waistband with his right hand.

         20. Officer Hanuscin testified he saw Mr. Slone kneel down and stash the object into the water run-off sewer on a corner of the intersection of Ruth and Somerset Streets.

         21. Approaching the intersection, Officer Metzger turned the police car to a 45 degree angle to allow his headlights to enlighten the area surrounding Mr. Slone.

         22. Officers Hanuscin and Metzger then exited their police cruiser and approached Mr. Slone.

         23. Officer Metzger testified Mr. Slone took 2-3 steps back from the sewer and the Officers.

         24. Both Officers testified they ordered Mr. Slone to show them his hands several times.

         25. Mr. Slone did not comply with their commands and the Officer Metzger testified he believed Mr. Slone was about to run north on Ruth Street.

         26. Officer Metzger testified he re-holstered his gun once he saw both Mr. Slone's hands and confirmed he did not have a weapon.

         27. Officer Hanuscin testified he re-holstered his gun once he was close enough to physically apprehend Mr. Slone.

         28. Officer Hanuscin reached out and grabbed Mr. Slone's right hand and ...


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