Notable Decisions and Other News

Decisions

Second Department Dismisses Gun and Drug Charges

11/19/2015

At Mahad Brown’s trial, police officers testified that they entered an apartment in Brooklyn to execute a search warrant after officers from the Emergency Services Unit (ESU) had first entered the apartment and handcuffed all of the adults inside.  The officers executing the search warrant found Mr. Brown’s mother and brother handcuffed in the living room, Mr. Brown handcuffed on the floor of a hallway that led to two bedrooms, and a woman handcuffed in one of the bedrooms.  Weapons and marijuana were found in that bedroom.  None of the ESU officers testified at trial, and the People did not present any evidence proving where Mr. Brown was when ESU arrived. 

The People argued at trial that Mr. Brown had constructively possessed the weapons and marijuana, and the jury convicted him of criminal possession of a weapon in the third degree (three counts) and criminal possession of marijuana in the second degree.  Holding that the evidence was “insufficient to establish the possession elements” of the crimes, the Second Department reversed the conviction and dismissed the indictment.  

Allegra Glashausser and Ronald Zapata briefed the case, and Mr. Zapata argued it in the Second Department.