United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Shreveport Division
HORNSBY MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
ELIZABETH E. FOOTE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
reasons assigned in the Report and Recommendation of the
Magistrate Judge previously filed herein, and having
thoroughly reviewed the record, including the written
objections filed, and concurring with the findings of the
Magistrate Judge under the applicable law, it is ordered that
Defendant's motion to suppress [Record Document 26] is
Court makes a few additional observations regarding the
Magistrate Judge's findings as to the first step of the
Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), analysis; that is,
whether Trooper Titus's action of stopping Marlon
Gladney's ("Gladney") vehicle was justified at
its inception. Louisiana Revised Statute 32:125(B)(1)
provides, in pertinent part:
When any vehicle making use of any visual signals as
authorized by law, including the display of alternately
flashing amber or yellow warning lights is parked on or near
the highway, the driver of every other vehicle shall.. .
[w]hen driving on an interstate highway or other highway with
two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, yield the
right-of-way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent
to the parked vehicle, if possible with due regard to safety
and traffic conditions. If a lane change is not possible, the
driver shall slow to a reasonably safe speed.
La. R.S. 32:125(B)(1). This statute is the basis of
Gladney's traffic stop by Trooper Titus.
Report and Recommendation, the Magistrate Judge reasoned that
"Trooper Titus reported that the car passed him in the
closest lane while his light bar was illuminated to direct
traffic into the left lane. This is a violation of La. R.S.
32:125. Defendant testified that traffic was heavy and that
he could not move over, but Defendant's testimony is not
credible." Record Document 36, p. 4. Gladney's
objection to the Report and Recommendation criticizes this
finding, repeatedly asserting that Trooper Titus's
testimony at the suppression hearing failed to address
"whether or not a lane change was possible," and
that the "only evidence" on this point came from
Gladney's own testimony wherein he testified that he was
unable to change lanes due to multiple vehicles in the left
lane. Record Document 38, p. 3. Gladney contends that because
Trooper Titus failed to determine whether a lane change was
possible at the time of the actual traffic stop, the stop
amounted to a mistake of law which rendered it illegal under
the Fourth Amendment.
a thorough review of the record, the Court finds that
Gladney's objection misrepresents the evidence adduced at
the suppression hearing. Contrary to what Gladney now avers,
Trooper Titus directly contradicted Gladney's testimony
regarding the existence, or lack thereof, of traffic in the
left lane of the interstate:
Q: Okay. And so where, where did his vehicle- where was his
vehicle located when it passed your vehicle?
A: It was traveling in the right lane directly next to mine.
Q: Were there any other vehicles in the left lane at the time
that you observed Mr. Gladney's vehicle pass yours?
Record Document 43, p. 14
to Gladney's post-hearing misrepresentations of the
testimony at the suppression hearing, the evidence
established that, according to Trooper Titus, there was no
traffic in the left lane when Gladney passed the
Trooper's vehicle; this fact objectively established
reasonable suspicion that a violation of La. R.S. 32:125 had
occurred. Disputing Trooper Titus's testimony, Gladney
testified at the hearing that he was unable to move to the
left lane of the interstate while passing Trooper Titus.
Hence, the ...