Appendix II: Reasonable Suspicion

AuthorSteve Coughlan; Glen Luther
Reasonable Suspicion Standard Met
R v Mann, [2004] 3 SCR 59: Shortly before midnight the police received
a dispatch call describing a break and enter in progre ss in downtown
Winnipeg. The suspect was described as a twenty-one-year-old Aborig-
inal male, approximately 5’6”, weighing 165 pounds, wearing a black
jacket with white sleeves, and believed to be “Zachar y Parisienne.” A
short while later the police observed the accused walking away from
the site of the offence. The Court found that the reasonable-suspicion
standard was met because the accused closely matched the description
and was only two or three blocks f rom the crime scene a short time
after the offence. It also stated that the high-crime nature of a neigh-
bourhood is not itself a basis to det ain someone, and is relevant only if
it shows the connection of an accused to a particular crime.
R v Chehil, 2013 SCC 49: Reasonable suspicion that the accused was i n
possession of narcotics established. The police checked the passenger
manifest for a WestJet f‌light arriving in H alifax looking for part icular
characterist ics, based upon which they selected the accu sed’s bags to
be subject to a sniffer dog search. The Court noted that many of the
characterist ics that were relied upon were individually capable of in-
nocent explanation, but that nonetheless, taken together, were capable
1 This appendi x deals only with reas onable suspicion in the context of inve stiga-
tive detentions. There i s also caselaw usi ng the reasonable suspicion st andard
in other context s, such as customs stops or approved-s creening-device dema nds.

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