Perez v. People
Perez v. People (Colorado Supreme Court, January 19, 2021): The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a Miranda warning was unnecessary before asking gun-related questions under the “public safety” exception to the Miranda rule. The defendant, Perez, stated that he was chased on foot by an officer. After the officer asked, “[w]here is the gun?”, Perez responded that he “threw [the gun] away.” Perez moved to suppress his answer, arguing that it was obtained in violation of Miranda because he was not provided Miranda warnings before the question was asked. The court reasoned that the public safety exception to the Miranda warning applied. The appropriate inquiry is whether, considering all the circumstances, the officer’s questions relate to an objectively reasonable need to protect the public from immediate dangers, not whether the officer has every reason to believe that a weapon is in play. Read the decision here.