Muni-mail – Error by Police Dispatcher Results in Suppression of Evidence – State v. Handy

[04/12/10 – 2:10 pm] In this morning’s decision by the Appellate Division in a case captioned State v. Handy, the Court ruled that negligence by a police dispatcher in not properly advising arresting officers required the suppression of evidence in the form of illegal drugs. In Handy, the police called in for a warrant check on a person they had lawfully detained. The dispatcher reported an active warrant but did not advise the police that the pedigree information the officers had provided on the arrestee did not properly match up against police records. On the basis of the bad information provided by the dispatcher, the police arrested the suspect and found illegal drugs It was later discovered that there was no active warrant for the person the police had arrested and the purported warrant was most likely for another person. In ruling the evidence suppressed, the Court cited the need under our State Constitution to deter negligent actions by police and those working for them that result in illegal arrests and unreasonable searches.

Download a copy of State v. Handy.

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