Massachusetts Legal Developments Blog

Flight In Response to a Show of Authority Cannot Justify a Stop

This is a common theme in BPD firearms cases. Here is how these cases work:

  1. Offices see some people they think might have a gun
  2. Officers run at these guys in full uniform.
  3. The ones with a gun run away.
  4. Officers chase the ones that run because the ones that run are probably the ones who have guns.

Only the law isn't on the officer's side because flight in response to show of authority cannot justify [a] stop.

So, here we go:

  • While surveilling the area, officers observed three males known to them, and as the officers approached on foot, they observed one of the males take off running while holding his waistband. The officers followed on foot and soon caught up to the male. As they were about to conduct a pat frisk, the male told the officers he had a firearm. Officers recovered a loaded silver and black Smith & Wesson .38 CTGE revolver and several rounds of additional ammunition from the male’s pants.

This happens on a daily basis in Boston.