United States District Court, D. Minnesota
Benjamin Bejar, United States Attorney's Office, for
United States of America.
Becker, Office of the Federal Defender, for Defendant Taariq
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION
BOWBEER, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
matter came before the undersigned United States Magistrate
Judge for a pretrial motions hearing on February 9, 2017.
(Min. Entry Mot.'s Hr'g [Doc. No. 38].) The case was
referred for resolution of pretrial matters pursuant to 28
U.S.C. § 636 and District of Minnesota Local Rule
72.1(a)(3)(A). This Court ruled on Defendant Taariq Kaaleeq
Jackson-Bey's nondispositive motions in its February 16,
2018 Order [Doc. No. 45]. On March 7, 2018, following
post-hearing briefing by the parties, the Court took under
advisement Jackson-Bey's Motion to Suppress evidence
obtained during traffic stops occurring on January 4, 2017
and April 13, 2017 [Doc. No. 35]. For the reasons set forth
below, the Court recommends that the Motion to Suppress be
22, 2017, Defendant Taariq Kaaleeq Jackson-Bey
(“Jackson-Bey”) was charged with two counts of
Felon in Possession of a Firearm and one count of Felon in
Possession of Ammunition, in violation of 18 U.S.C.
§§ 922(g)(1) and 924(e)(1). (Indictment [Doc. No.
1].) At his June 29, 2017 arraignment, Jackson-Bey entered a
plea of not guilty. (Arraignment Order [Doc. No. 13].) A
short time later, on August 16, 2017, Jackson-Bey moved for a
psychiatric examination and requested a hearing, if
necessary, to determine whether he was competent to stand
trial [Doc. No. 20]. The Court granted Jackson-Bey's
motion and ordered that an examination be conducted. (July 17
Order [Doc. No. 21].) The results of that examination were
submitted in a December 19, 2017, Forensic Report prepared by
David M. Szyhowski, Psy.D., in which he concluded that
Jackson-Bey does not suffer from any severe mental disease
that impacts his ability to understand the legal proceedings
or properly assist his counsel [Doc. No. 24]. Jackson-Bey
opted not to request a competency hearing to dispute the
report's findings. (Jan. 5, 2018 Letter [Doc. No. 26].)
then filed eight discovery and evidence-related pre-trial
motions, including the instant motion to suppress [Doc. Nos.
28-35]. The motion to suppress alleges that police officers
unlawfully seized evidence during the January 4 and April 13,
2017, traffic stops in violation of his Fourth Amendment
rights. The government called Saint Paul Police Officers
Charles Lemon and Daniel Gleason to testify at the
evidentiary hearing. (Min. Entry Mot.'s Hr'g [Doc.
No. 38].) Jackson-Bey introduced three exhibits pertaining to
the January 4, 2017, traffic stop: a map of the area where
the traffic stop took place (Def.'s Ex. 1); Officer
Lemon's Official Incident Report (Def.'s Ex. 2); and
the dashboard camera video of the traffic stop (Def.'s
Relevant Factual Background
January 4, 2017, Traffic Stop
early morning of January 4, 2017, police officers Charles
Lemon and Laurie Ueland were patrolling downtown Saint Paul
in a marked squad car near the Dorothy Day Center, with
Officer Lemon at the wheel. (Mot. Hr'g Tr. 12-14 [Doc.
No. 42].) The area is depicted in Defendant's Exhibit 1,
around 2:00 a.m., while the two officers were in their squad
car on St. Joseph's Lane, Officer Lemon noticed a Mercury
Mountaineer SUV parked on the east side of the street facing
northbound. (Id. at 14.) From a distance of about
150 to 200 feet, Officer Lemon observed the SUV “go
into gear” and “abruptly drive forward”
toward the intersection of St. Joseph's Lane and Exchange
Street. (Id. at 14-15.) The intersection was
controlled by a three-way stop sign. Officer Lemon observed
the vehicle make a right-hand turn eastbound onto Exchange
Street without coming to a complete stop at the stop sign
prior to making the turn. (Id. at 15-16.) He
testified this constituted a moving traffic violation, and
that the road conditions at the time were clear; no snow, ice
or other debris could have caused the vehicle to
inadvertently slide through the stop sign. (Id. at
Lemon drove northbound on St. Joseph's Lane toward the
intersection and watched as the SUV traveled halfway up the
block on Exchange Street and turned left into the easternmost
entrance of the semicircular drop-off area of St.
Joseph's Hospital. (Id. at 16-17.) He did not
see the SUV drop anyone off at the hospital. (Id. at
18:13-14.) He did not immediately stop the SUV, however,
explaining that it would have been unsafe for him to do so in
the hospital drop-off area. (Id. at 17:22-25.).
(Id. at 17-18.) Instead, Officer Lemon moved his
squad car to a position on the north side of Ninth Street,
just short of and pointing toward the intersection with
Exchange Street, from which he could look toward St.
Joseph's Hospital and monitor the SUV in the driveway.
(Id. at 17:18-20.) From that position, Officer Lemon
observed the SUV start to pull out from the western entrance
of the semicircular driveway with the right turn signal
activated. (Id. at 18:16-18.) At that point, Officer
Lemon testified, he made direct eye contact with the driver
of the SUV. (Id. at 19:1-14; 40:9-41:3.) Officer
Lemon stated that the driver began to pull forward with the
right turn signal still blinking, then abandoned his apparent
intention to turn right out of the hospital drop-off area and
instead turned left onto Exchange Street, in the direction
away from the squad car. (Id. at 19:1-4.) Officer
Lemon testified that his line of sight to the SUV was
unobstructed. (Id. at 19:17-19.) Based on the
driver's decision to change directions after having seen
the squad car, Officer Lemon believed the driver was being
evasive. (Id. at 20:8-9) In addition, he concluded
the driver had violated traffic laws by turning left without
properly signaling his lefthand turn. (Id. at
the SUV turned left out of the hospital driveway, Officer
Lemon activated his overhead lights, turned onto Exchange
Street himself, and pulled the SUV over at the intersection
of Exchange Street and St. Peter Street. (Id.
20:11-25.) Officer Lemon testified that two moving violations
underlay the traffic stop - the failure to make a complete
stop at the stop sign before turning from St. Joseph's
Lane onto Exchange Street, and the failure to properly signal
the lefthand turn from the St. Joseph's Hospital driveway
onto Exchange Street. (Id. at 30:8-15.)
Lemon approached the driver's side of the SUV and for the
first time recognized the driver as Taariq Jackson-Bey, whom
he knew from several previous encounters. (Mot. Hr'g Tr.
21:5-15; Def.'s Ex. 2 at 6.) Officer Ueland approached
the passenger's side of the vehicle, where Vincent
Lindsey was sitting in the front passenger's seat.
(Id. 20-21; Def.'s Ex. 2 at 6.) As Jackson-Bey
rolled down the driver's side window, Officer Lemon
smelled the odor of un-burnt marijuana emanating from inside
the vehicle. (Mot. Hr'g Tr. 21:5-15.) Officer Lemon also
observed Jackson-Bey pull a large amount of rolled-up cash
from his pocket while he searched for his identification.
(Def.'s Ex. 2 at 6.) Based on the smell of marijuana and
the rolled-up cash, Officer Lemon believed criminal activity