Published on: Thursday, March 2, 2023

Two guys go walking down the sidewalk of a Richmond, Va. housing complex. Cops see them, recognize them, and accuse them of trespassing based partly upon a trespassing arrest from eight years ago. Cops ask the guys to lift their shirts. One does, one kind of does. The kind-of one is also wearing skinny jeans, and there was a sketchy tip based on vague descriptions he sold drugs. Officers threaten him with trespassing charges and then detain and pat him down, finding a gun. Permissible Terry stop? District court: Totally permissible. Imposes 10 years imprisonment. Fourth Circuit (over a dissent): Totally not permissible. A sketchy tip, eight-year-old arrest, refusal to lift up shirt, and skinny jeans? Reversed. Grant the motion to suppress.

The case is United States v. Peters, No. 19-4904 (4th Cir. Feb. 24, 2023).