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People v. Jackson

City Court of Rochester, Monroe County

February 15, 2018

The People of the State of New York, Plaintiff,
v.
Chaquan Murphy Jackson, Defendant.

          Sandra Doorley, Monroe County District Attorney (Alyssa Zongrone, Assistant District Attorney, of counsel) for plaintiff.

          Timothy Donaher, Monroe County Public Defender (Marc Infantino, Assistant Public Defender, of counsel) for defendant.

          DECISION AND ORDER

          ELLEN M. YACKNIN, J.

         INTRODUCTION

         Defendant Chaquan Murphy Jackson is charged with the misdemeanor of criminal trespass in the second degree. On January 4, 2018, a Wade hearing was held to determine whether the showup identification procedures used by the police in this case were unconstitutionally suggestive. For the reasons stated below, defendant's motion to suppress the witness's identification of him is granted.

         FACTUAL BACKGROUND

         At the hearing, Rochester Police Officer Giovanni Maldonado testified for the People. Defendant presented no evidence.

         According to the credible evidence, at about midnight on November 4, 2017, Rochester Police Officer Maldonado responded to a dispatch call about a man who was reported to be looking through parked cars and checking house doors on Barrington Street in Rochester, New York. In response to the call, Officer Maldonado drove to 94 Barrington Street to speak to the caller, Thomas Szatko.

         When Officer Maldonado arrived, Mr. Szatko showed him a video recording from his home security system that showed the man in question walking up Mr. Szatko's driveway, trying to open the doors to the cars in the driveway. The video recording also showed the man going onto to the enclosed back porch of Mr. Szatko's house, opening the door, and remaining there for almost a minute before leaving. The man in question was wearing a white hooded shirt with the letters "USA" on the back and dark jeans, and he had a mask over his face.

         After watching the video recording, Officer Maldonado initially searched the neighborhood for the man, but then sat in his car on East Avenue near Barrington Street. While there, he saw defendant, who was dressed in dark jeans and a white hood shirt with the letters "USA" on the back, walking on the sidewalk. Officer Maldonado approached defendant, and asked if he could talk to him and to remove his hands from his pockets. As defendant began to remove his hands from his pockets, he suddenly ran away. Officer Maldonado chased defendant and eventually apprehended him near University Avenue and Portsmouth in Rochester, New York at around 1:08 a.m.

         After defendant was apprehended, arrangements were made for Officer Santiago to drive defendant back to 94 Barrington Street so that a showup could be conducted with Mr. Szatko. In the meantime, Officer Maldonado went back to 94 Barrington Street and told Mr. Szatko and Mr. Szatko's young adult son, who was present, that he apprehended a man after chasing him on foot on University Street, and that it was a good thing that he was in pretty good shape. Officer Maldonado explained to Mr. Szatko that the police were going to show him a person who may or may not have been the person whom Mr. Szatko had seen, and to let Officer Maldonado know if the man he was about to see was the man he had observed earlier. In response, Mr. Szatko told Officer Maldonado that he would not be able to identify the man's face but he would be able to identify the man's clothes.

         As Officer Maldonado was preparing the showup paperwork, Mr. Szatko asked him whether or not the man that Officer Maldonado had apprehended was wearing a mask. In response, Officer Maldonado told Mr. Szatko that the man had had something in his hand but that he didn't know what it was.

         In preparation for the showup, Officer Maldonado stood next to Mr. Szatko, who was looking out of the window next to his front door. Mr. Szatko's son, who was in the same room, first looked out of the same window that his father was looking at, and then moved to another window. While he was looking out the window, Mr. Szatko's son asked Officer Maldonado whether the defendant had gloves on when he was caught. In response, Officer Maldonado said that he was not allowed to answer that question. At around 2:00 a.m., defendant was removed from the patrol car ...


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