from the Judgment of Sentence Entered December 30, 2015 In
the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County Criminal
Division at No(s): CP-51-CR-0009035-2014
BEFORE: OTT, J., McLAUGHLIN, J., and STEVENS [*] , P.J.E.
case comes to us on remand from the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court, which vacated our previous disposition and instructed
us to reconsider this case in light of the Court's
interim decision in Commonwealth v. Hicks, 208 A.3d
916 (Pa. 2019), cert. denied, No. 19-426, 2019 WL
6689877 (U.S. Dec. 9, 2019). Consistent with Hicks,
we conclude the Commonwealth failed to establish that the law
enforcement officers in this case had reasonable suspicion to
stop Price, and the trial court therefore erred in denying
Price's motion to suppress. We vacate Price's
judgment of sentence, reverse the order denying suppression,
and remand for further proceedings.
recitation of the procedural history and relevant facts
remains nearly identical to our previous recitation. See
Commonwealth v. Price, 203 A.3d 264, 266-68 (Pa.Super.),
vacated, 217 A.3d 193 (Pa. 2019). In 2014, Price was
charged with possession of a firearm by a prohibited person,
firearms not to be carried without a license, and possession
of a firearm in the City of Philadelphia. Prior to trial,
Price filed a Motion to Suppress Physical Evidence, claiming
that he had been seized and searched without probable cause
or reasonable suspicion. The trial court held a hearing on
January 15, 2015, at which the Commonwealth presented the
testimony of Philadelphia Police Officer Kevin Klein.
Klein testified that on the night in question,  he was working in
an unmarked patrol vehicle with his partner, Officer
Christopher Ficchi, when they received a radio broadcast to
respond to the 5100 block of Willows Avenue. See
N.T., 1/15/15, at 15-16. According to Officer Klein, who had
been a Philadelphia Police Officer for seven years at the
time of the hearing, violent crime is prevalent in that area.
Id. at 13, 28-29. The radio broadcast reported that
a black male, wearing a white T-shirt and gray shorts, was
driving a silver Lexus with a license plate reading
"GWL8569," and was carrying a firearm. Id.
at 15-16, 29. Officer Klein indicated that the radio
broadcast was the result of a 911 call. Id. at 30.
Klein testified that he and Officer Ficchi arrived at the
intersection of 51st Street and Willows Avenue within a
minute of receiving the radio broadcast and saw a silver
Lexus, facing westbound, stopped at a stop sign. Id.
at 17-18. The Lexus proceeded through the intersection and
past the unmarked police vehicle, which was stopped at the
same intersection, facing eastbound. Id. at 18. As
the Lexus passed the officers' car, Officer Klein
observed that the driver was a black male, later identified
as Price, who was wearing a white T-shirt. Id.
Officer Klein also saw that the car had a license plate
reading "GWL8568," which Officer Klein noted
differed by only one digit from the number provided by the
radio broadcast. Id. The officers turned their
vehicle around and followed the Lexus until it pulled into a
parking spot. Id. at 18-19, 27. The officers stopped
their vehicle and activated their lights. Id. at 19,
Klein exited the police car and approached the passenger side
of the Lexus. Id. at 19. The window was down, and
Officer Klein could see that Price was wearing gray shorts in
addition to wearing a white T-shirt. Id. Price had
his hands on the steering wheel, and did not respond when
Officer Klein asked if he was carrying a firearm.
Id. Officer Klein walked to the driver's side of
the Lexus, opened the door, and asked Price to step out.
Id. at 20. Price stood up, and as he turned, Officer
Klein could see that he had a large bulge in the stomach area
of his waistband. Id. Officer Klein testified that
in his experience, most individuals carry firearms in the
waistband area. Id. at 14-15. Officer Klein told his
partner that he observed the bulge, and they both grabbed
Price's arms. Id. at 20. Officer Klein felt the
bulge, and found that it felt like a hard metal object.
Id. The officers handcuffed Price and removed from
his waistband a Kel-Tec 9-millimeter gun. Id.
Officers Klein and Ficchi were arresting Price, they were
approached by a woman named Rachel Clark, who told the
officers that she had called 911. Id. at 21-22, 28.
She pointed to Price and said, "[T]hat's him,"
and asked the officers if they had recovered the gun.
Id. at 22. Officer Klein noted that Clark appeared
to be standing out of Price's view, and initially
appeared to be nervous, but was relieved once the officers
told her they had obtained the firearm. Id. Clark
informed the officers that she had called 911 because she
observed Price "put an item in the trunk of the
vehicle" and that "he loaded bullets into a brown
bag and placed that item into the trunk of the vehicle."
Id. Clark was taken to a police station, where she
gave a statement. Id. at 28.
Klein asked Price if he had any other bullets in the vehicle.
Id. at 23. Price responded that there were bullets
in the trunk, and gave Officer Klein written permission to
retrieve them. Id. In the trunk, Officer Klein found
a brown corduroy bag containing 41 live rounds of
9-millimeter ammunition, six blue latex gloves, and one pair
of black leather gloves. Id.
on Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. 393 (2014), the
trial court found that the police had reasonable suspicion to
stop Price based on the 911 call. The court explained that
the 911 center in Philadelphia can "track [911 calls] if
it's a landline," and that "they have caller ID
if it's not a landline." N.T., 1/15/15, at 54. The
court also noted that 911 callers have their voices recorded,
and the police may be able to establish a 911 caller's
identity through tracing and tracking systems, which minimize
the possibility that a caller would be dishonest.
Id. The court therefore determined that the 911 call
was sufficiently reliable to support reasonable suspicion to
justify stopping Price's car, and denied Price's
Motion to Suppress.
proceeded to a non-jury trial. The court found Price guilty
of the above offenses and thereafter sentenced him to a
minimum of five to ten years' incarceration followed by
five years' probation.
filed a timely notice of appeal. His first issue on appeal
was whether the trial court erred in denying his motion to
suppress, because, according to Price, the stop leading to
his arrest was based on an anonymous and unreliable phone
call and therefore not supported by reasonable suspicion or
affirmed Price's judgment of sentence on January 28,
2019. Price, 203 A.3d at 272. We concluded the trial
court did not err in denying Price's motion to suppress,
because the totality of the circumstances ...