California v. Hodari D. Case Brief

Facts of the Case

“Two police officers, dressed in street clothes but wearing jackets with the word “Police” embossed on the front and back, were on patrol in an unmarked car in a high-crime area. A group of youths, including the accused, were huddled around a car parked at a curb. At the sight of the officers’ car, the youths apparently panicked and fled. One of the officers left the car and ran around the block in order to intercept the accused, who had run into an alley. The accused was looking behind him as he ran and did not see the officer until the officer was almost upon him, whereupon the accused tossed away what appeared to be a small rock. Immediately thereafter, the officer tackled the accused and handcuffed him. The rock the accused had discarded was found to be crack cocaine. In a juvenile proceeding brought against the accused in California state court, the accused moved to suppress the evidence relating to the cocaine. The court denied the motion. The California Court of Appeal reversed, holding that (1) the accused had been “seized” when he saw the officer running toward him