When will a police officer detain a fleeing defendant?

California, United States of America

The following excerpt is from People v. Castro, D065136 (Cal. App. 2015):

On appeal, the Attorney General contends defendant was not detained until the officer grabbed his hand after defendant shoved it into his pocket. The magistrate concluded a detention occurred when the officer shined the light on defendant and ordered him to stop. Because the magistrate observed the officer's demeanor when describing how she first contacted defendant, we defer to the magistrate's finding that a detention occurred at this point. The magistrate could reasonably assess that the officer used a commanding tone of voice that communicated that defendant was not free to leave, and hence the police were not merely seeking to question defendant in a consensual encounter. (People v. Roth (1990) 219 Cal.App.3d 211, 215.)

We reject the Attorney General's contention that no detention occurred because defendant did not comply with the officer's direction to approach the police to talk. Although the high court has determined that a fleeing defendant is not seized for Fourth Amendment purposes (California v. Hodari D. (1991) 499 U.S. 621, 623-629), defendant

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