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R. v. Grant (2009) SCC 32

Facts:

Police officers were on patrol in school areas. 2 of the officers were dressed in plain clothes. 1 in uniform in a different vehicle. (3 officers were larger then Grant).

2 officers felt Grant looked suspicious, and asked the other office to go talk to him.

He went to talk to him, Mr. Grant was nervous. Grant was told to keep his hands in front of him. The other two officers were watching and saw Mr. Grant behaving in a strange way so they went to go stand with the other officer talking to Mr. Grant.

Mr. Grant was asked a series of questions, when he told them he had a firearm they immediately arrested him.

Issue(s):

Has Grant's right to be free of arbitrary detention as protected s.9 been breached?
At what point during the interaction was Grant detained?

Ratio:

If reasonable person feels they do not have the choice to walk away from police, either by physical or psychological constraints, they are therefore detained.

Analysis:

Majority: An individual confronted by police on the street has the option to walk away, and the officer must allow it, unless he arrests him. (Deadman v. The Queen (1985)).

SS. 9 and 10 – depend on physical and psychological constraints

Psychological constraint (detention) - the police tactics may be coercive enough to remove the individuals right to walk away:
** 1. Subject is legally required to comply with a direction or demand
** 2. No legal compulsion to comply but any reasonable would feel obligated to comply

** Claim of psychological detention must meet:
*** 1. Police command or direction.
*** 2. Compliance by the person now claiming a s. 9 detention.
*** 3. Grounds for a reasonable belief that there was no choice but to compel.

To determine if reasonable person thought they were deprived of choice to walk away:
**Circumstances giving rise to encounter.
**Nature of Police conduct.
**Particular characteristics or circumstances of the individual (ex. Age, race).

Holding:

The detention was arbitrary and in breach of s.9


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