A Lansing man who is facing a misdemeanor criminal charge for not showing his ID to a police officer near his home says he will plead not guilty. He says that he did nothing wrong and that the officer had no right to demand identification from him.
The incident that led to the criminal charges took place on Feb. 15. The defendant was sitting by himself in his car, which was parked in his driveway. He says that he was there because he wanted some "quiet time" and was not doing anything in particular.
While he was sitting there, a police officer walked into his driveway and confronted him. The officer demanded that the defendant present some form of identification. It is not clear what the officer thought the man was doing in his car. Officers have the right to stop a person and investigate them only if they have a reasonable suspicion that the person has committed or is committing a crime.
The defendant says he ignored the officer's order except to ask whether it was a slow night. When the officer exited his property, the man figured that was the end of the matter. But 10 days later, he received an arrest warrant on suspicion of misdemeanor resisting a police officer. The man pleaded guilty to a similar charge about five years ago, but this time he opted to plead not guilty. Trial does not appear to have been scheduled.
One possible issue in the trial is whether the police officer had a reasonable suspicion that the defendant was committing a crime while sitting along in his car next to his house. If the jury determines that he did not, his police stop was not valid and any evidence of a crime as a result of that police detention could be suppressed.
Source: WILX-TV, "Lansing Man Charged for Not Showing I.D. to Police," Fay Li, April 5, 2013