Situation: Citizen calls 911 about a possible drunk driver. Caller gives his name, phone number, his car description, license plate #, and stops on scene in case officers need to talk to him. At time of stop, officer has no knowledge of what info caller gave to dispatch or that caller is/will be on scene. Officer made stop based on vehicle location and description given by caller and without seeing any traffic violations herself.
My judge seems to believe that the officer must have some knowledge about what identifying info the caller has given dispatch before the officer makes the stop, i.e., the officer herself must know that the caller's identity is ascertainable in case false report is suspected.
That logic taken to it's end means that dispatch must always tell the officer about the info they've been given from a 911 caller before the officer can make the stop.
I have my controlling "reliability of 911 caller" caselaw (Fort Worth Court of Appeals: Stolte, Sailo, Pipkin, Adkins; US Supreme Crt: Alabama v White). However, I can't find that the issue of what exactly the lead officer must know about the caller has ever been addressed.
Am I missing something?
The collective knowledge doctrine may support you. Woodward v. State, 668 S.W.2d 337, 344 (Tex. Crim. App. 1982) ("the sum of the information known to the cooperating agencies or officers at the time of an arrest or search by any of the officers involved is to be considered in determining whether there was sufficient probable cause therefor"
Several out of state cases have applied this doctrine to dispatchers.
"Whether the officer had the requisite reasonable suspicion to detain a citizen is determined on the basis of the totality of the circumstances, i.e., the collective knowledge of all those officers and dispatchers involved." State v. Van Dorne, 88 P.3d 780, 783 (Idaho App. 2004).
Assuming the 911 operator is a civilian, he may have to pass on his information to the police dispatcher or arresting officer before the collective knowledge doctrine will apply. U.S. v. Colon, 250 F.3d 130 (2d Cir. 2001).
We had a case several years ago that went up on appeal and WE LOST. Someone called in and the officer verified a lot of information from the call. An opinion was written questioning the veracity of what the officer knew. Though it threw out the traffic stop, it probably could lead you to subsequent case law that supports your case. It was Davis v. State, in the Austin COA, out of Williamson County, involving a Georgetown Police Officer. Sorry I can't give you more specifics. All I remember is the attorney who handled the appeal and I joked how older judges didn't grasp the concept of cell phones!
You might look at State v. Fudge, 42 S.W.3d 226 (Austin). It was a 2-1 decision reversing the trial court's ruling that there was no RS to stop. In that case a driver approached the officer in a convenience store parking lot and, without identifying himself, described a suspected drunk driver, his vehicle, location, behavior, etc. The majority went with Sailo and the others finding that the man put himself in a position to be IDd. The officer had no corroboration when he stopped the driver.
*grumble* I live out in the pseudo-country (Bastrop) and have called 911 not once, but twice, on DWIs.. imagine my irritation when the dang operator would NOT take my name and number! They didn't say "we have it on caller ID" and I know they didn't, because I had to have my cell phone reprogrammed once and it comes up as *unknown*.
After 6 years the CCA has provided a helpful answer:
"A 911 police dispatcher is ordinarily regarded as a 'cooperating officer' for purposes of making th[e] determination [of whether reasonable suspicion exists].FN33"
Derichsweiler v. State, --- S.W.3d ----, No. PD-0176-10, 2011 WL 255299 at *4 (Tex. Crim. App. January 26, 2011)
Regarding knowing the ID of the caller, I agree with J Ansolabehere. I researched that issue in depth a couple years ago. IIRC, this went to the reliability aspect of informant information and the consensus was that an informant could be considered reliable if he had put himself in position to be identified, even though he may not have been actually ID'd by the officer or dispatch.
The Fudge case mentioned by Janette is on the edge from my research. The key to reliability in it, and others like it, has revolved on the complainant placing himself in a position where, were the need to arise, he could be identified. Fudge was a face to face contact, enhancing reliability, because he subjected himself to ID by the present officer.
If I recall correctly, one of the two NE TX CA's declined to follow it, and the Dallas CA cited it but in a circumstance where cooroborating facts were in the record, which is a completely different record.
just read this opinion from the case summaries email (thank you to the fine folks at TDCAA) it seems very helpful.
derichsweiler v. state
|Powered by Social Strata|
© TDCAA, 2001. All Rights Reserved.