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Name: United States v. Christian
Case #: 02-30185
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 01/28/2004
Subsequent History: None

Police investigating a report of a man brandishing a gun did not exceed the proper scope of the investigatory stop by asking a suspect for identification. A young woman reported to police that her mother’s boyfriend had waved a gun in her face during an argument, and officers located a man believed to be the suspect elsewhere in the apartment building where the brandishing had taken place. The officers asked the man for identification; he responded with a false name. While checking for outstanding warrants, the officers conducted a pat search for weapons and continued to question the defendant about the gun. After the defendant became agitated and evasive, officers became concerned for their safety and handcuffed him. The defendant eventually consented to a search of his car for identification, where police found identification cards bearing different names and photos. The defendant eventually pled guilty to multiple charges related to identification fraud and possession of a firearm by a felon. On appeal, he argued that the officer’s demand for identification exceeded the proper scope of an investigatory stop, arguing that it is never permissible for officers to request identification during a Terry stop. The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument, and further held that requesting identification was reasonable under the circumstances of this case.