California, United States of America
The following excerpt is from People v. Loewen, 196 Cal.Rptr. 846, 35 Cal.3d 117, 672 P.2d 436 (Cal. 1983):
Reliance on the "high rate of crime" in the area must be rejected. An "officer's assertion that the location lay in a 'high crime' area does not elevate ... facts into a reasonable suspicion of criminality. The 'high crime area' factor is not an 'activity' of an individual. Many citizens of this state are forced to live in areas that have 'high crime' rates or they come to these areas to shop, work, play, transact business, or visit relatives or friends. The spectrum of legitimate human behavior occurs every day in so-called high crime areas. As a result, this court has appraised this factor with caution and has been reluctant to conclude that a location's crime rate transforms otherwise innocent-appearing circumstances into circumstances justifying the seizure of an individual. [Citations.]" (People v. Bower (1979) 24 Cal.3d 638, 645, 156 Cal.Rptr. 856, 597 P.2d 115; see also Brown v. Texas, supra, 443 U.S. at p. 52, 99 S.Ct. at p. 2641.) Clearly, it was improper to detain appellant based on this factor.
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