Case Type: Gun Crime
Case Title: State v. Blair
Charges: Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm
Jurisdiction: Minneapolis, Hennepin County, Minnesota
Case Results: DISMISSAL
Case Summary: Mr. Blair was charged with Prohibited Person in Possession of a Firearm (felon in possession of a firearm). Mr. Blair along with friends and family were sitting in a vehicle in front of a relative’s home talking and hanging out. The relative who lived at the home was standing outside of the vehicle talking with Mr. Blair and the vehicle passengers. A neighbor in the area was concerned about this group of young African American men and called the police. The neighborhood was multiracial but predominately white. The Minneapolis police arrived at the scene in response to the call. Without inquiring of Mr. Blair, his family member who lived at the home, or any of the passengers in the vehicle the police conducted a felony stop procedure with guns drawn. All of the individuals were pulled out of the vehicle and lined up with the relative who lived at the address. An illegal search of the vehicle was conducted where a gun was recovered. The police alleged that Mr. Blair possessed the gun since it was found near the location where he was sitting. He was subsequently arrested and held in jail until the court’s decision. Mr. Whitlock argued that Mr. Blair was stopped and searched illegally by the police violating his 4th Amendment constitutional right to be free from illegal searches and seizures. The court agreed with Mr. Whitlock and the evidence (firearm) discovered was suppressed and the case against Mr. Blair was dismissed. Mr. Blair was facing a mandatory minimum of 60 months (5 years) in prison.