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Name: U.S. v. Burkett
Case #: 09-30260
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 07/20/2010
Summary

There was reasonable suspicion to support the investigatory pat-down search. Appellant was a passenger in a car stopped for speeding. He challenged the denial of his motion to suppress alleging the officer who frisked him during the stop did not have a reasonable suspicion to believe he was armed and dangerous. Based on the totality of the circumstances, the appellate court affirmed. An officer may lawfully conduct a pat-down search if he reasonably suspects the passenger is armed and dangerous. (Arizona v. Johnson (2009) 129 S.Ct. 781, 784.) The totality of the circumstances showed appellant made furtive movements while the car continued down the road for nearly a mile before stopping. Appellant kept his head straight as if not moving, but it was clear appellant was moving his arms as though retrieving or hiding something. In fact, the officer thought this was so odd, he called for backup while driving. When the officer finally approached the car, appellant seemed unusually nervous, gave deceptive answers, opened the door in a peculiar way (with the hand farther from the door), and kept his arm at his side. All these factors justified the suspicion appellant was armed and dangerous and warranted the pat-down.