BY THE COURT
the material facts supporting the district court's
decision on a motion to suppress evidence are not in dispute,
the ultimate question of whether to suppress the evidence is
a question of law over which an appellate court has unlimited
Kansas courts have recognized four types of police-citizen
encounters: voluntary encounters, investigatory detentions or
Terry stops, public safety stops, and arrests.
legality of a public safety stop can be evaluated in three
steps. First, as long as there are objective, specific, and
articulable facts from which a law enforcement officer would
suspect that a citizen needs help or is in peril, the officer
has the right to stop and investigate. Second, if the citizen
needs aid, the officer may take appropriate action to render
assistance. Third, once the officer is assured that the
citizen is not in peril or is no longer in need of
assistance, any actions beyond that constitute a seizure,
implicating the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution.
applying the public safety rationale to justify a
police-citizen encounter, courts employ careful scrutiny so
the protections of the Fourth Amendment are not emasculated.
A public safety stop is not for investigative purposes. A
public safety stop must be divorced from the detection,
investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the
violation of a criminal statute.
Kansas Supreme Court has held that a law enforcement
officer's mere request for identification or identifying
information generally will not constitute a seizure. But an
officer's retention of an identification card is
one factor to be considered in applying the totality of the
circumstances test, and that factor may, absent offsetting
circumstances, mean a reasonable person would not feel free
to leave or otherwise terminate an encounter with the
Under the facts of this case, what began as a valid public
safety stop evolved into an illegal detention when a law
enforcement officer retained a citizen's identification
card to run a warrant check after it was clear to the officer
that the citizen was not in need of any help, and there was
no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to extend the
scope of the encounter.
exclusionary rule is a judicially created remedy that
prohibits the introduction of evidence obtained in violation
of a person's constitutional rights in order to deter
exception to the exclusionary rule is the doctrine of
attenuation. Under the attenuation doctrine, evidence is
admissible when the connection between unconstitutional
police conduct and the evidence is remote or has been
interrupted by some intervening circumstance, so that the
interest protected by the constitutional guarantee that has
been violated would not be served by suppression of the
Under an attenuation analysis, courts generally consider (1)
the time that elapsed between the illegal police conduct and
the acquisition of the evidence sought to be suppressed, (2)
the presence of any intervening circumstances, and (3) the
purpose and flagrancy of the official misconduct. No one
factor is controlling, and other factors may also be relevant
to the analysis.
Whether attenuation sufficiently purged the taint of illegal
police conduct is a question of fact that appellate courts
review under a substantial competent evidence standard. The
burden is on the State to show that the attenuation doctrine
should be applied to allow the admission of the evidence.
a constitutional violation to be flagrant, more severe police
misconduct is required than the mere absence of proper cause
for the seizure. In examining the flagrancy of official
misconduct, factors such as an officer's regular
practices and routines, an officer's reason for
initiating the encounter, the clarity of the law forbidding
the illegal conduct, and the objective appearance of consent
may all be important in this inquiry.
Under the facts of this case, the district court's
finding that the State failed to meet its burden of proving
that the attenuation doctrine should be applied is supported
by substantial evidence in the record.
from Reno District Court; Trish Rose, judge.
R. Stanton, deputy district attorney, Keith E. Schroeder,
district attorney, and Derek Schmidt, attorney general, for
Shannon S. Crane, of Hutchinson, for appellee.
Bruns, P.J., Malone and Powell, JJ.
State brings this interlocutory appeal of the district
court's order granting a motion to suppress evidence
filed by Richard W. Manwarren II. The case involves what both
parties agree began as a welfare check or public safety stop
involving Manwarren and a law enforcement officer in Reno
County. But after it was clear to the officer that Manwarren
was not in need of any help, the officer requested and
retained Manwarren's identification card to run a warrant
check. When the officer discovered an outstanding warrant for
Manwarren, the officer arrested him and found drugs and drug
paraphernalia on his person. The district court suppressed
the evidence, finding that the detention was illegal and that
the State failed to meet its burden of proving that the
attenuation doctrine should be applied to allow the admission
of the evidence.
appeal, the State argues that the entire encounter between
Manwarren and the officer was voluntary and not a seizure;
but if the encounter was an unlawful seizure, then the taint
of any illegal detention was attenuated by the discovery of
the unrelated and valid arrest warrants, making the evidence
admissible under Utah v. Strieff, 579 U.S., 136
S.Ct. 2056, 195 L.Ed.2d 400 (2016). For the reasons we will
carefully explain in this opinion, we disagree with the State
and affirm the district court's judgment.
and Procedural Background
facts are straightforward and undisputed. On July 17, 2016,
at about 11:40 a.m., Officer Michael Rivers and another
officer with the Hutchinson Police Department received a
report that a man was lying in a ditch off Highway 61 in
rural Reno County and might be injured. The officers
responded to the call and found Manwarren lying in the grass
about 5 feet from the highway. It was a bright and sunny day.
As the officers arrived in their patrol car, Manwarren stood
up and walked toward the officers to greet them. The parties
agree that the encounter began as a welfare check, also
called a public safety stop. Rivers testified that at the
beginning of the encounter, there was no indication of
criminal activity and Manwarren did not appear to be injured
asked Manwarren whether he was okay, and Manwarren replied
that he was waiting for a ride that was less than 30 minutes
away. Manwarren added that he was homeless and had been
camping nearby, and he was waiting for a friend to take him
back into town. At that point, Rivers did not believe that
Manwarren was a danger to ...