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Oregon Supreme Court, November 7, 2019

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by: Rankin Johnson IV • November 8, 2019 • no comments

Summarized by Rankin Johnson, OCDLA

SEARCH AND SEIZURE — Officer safety

An order given during an unlawful stop is not a 'lawful order,' and thus does not support a conviction for interfering with a peace officer. Reversed.

Police approached defendant with vague suspicions. When defendant declined to answer questions and behaved aggressively, police directed him to submit to being handcuffed and arrested him when he refused.

In reversing, the court explained that an order inconsistent with Article I, section 9 is not a lawful order, and the order in this case interfered with defendant's liberty interest. The court further held that the officer-safety doctrine did not permit police to further restrain a suspect who had been unlawfully stopped.

Balmer, dissenting, argued that the lawfulness of a police order should be independent of the lawfulness of the encounter that preceded it.

The Supreme Court noted that the trial court had imposed attorney fees on a count for which defendant was acquitted, and they granted review on that issue but in light of their reversal did not reach it.

State v. Kreis 365 Or 659 (November 7, 2019) (Walters, Balmer dissenting) (Beaverton Municipal Court, Rink)