Appendix II: Reasonable Suspicion

AuthorSteve Coughlan/Glen Luther
ProfessionProfessor, Schulich School of Law, Dalhousie University/Associate Professor, College of Law, Saskatchewan
Reasonable Suspicion Standard Met
R. v. Mann, [2004] 3 S.C.R. 59: Shortly before midnight the police re-
ceived a dispatch call describing a break and enter in progress in down-
town Winnipeg. The suspect was described as a twenty-one-year-old
Aboriginal male, approximately 5’6”, weighing 165 lbs., wearing a black
jacket with white sleeves, and believed to be “Zachar y Par isienne.” A
short while later the police observed t he accus ed wal king away from
the site of the offence. The Court found that the reasonable-suspicion
standard was met because t he accused closely matched the description
and was only two or three blocks from the crime scene a short time
after t he offence. It also stated that t he high-cr ime nature of a neigh-
bourhood is not itself a basis to detain someone, and is relevant only if
it shows the connection of an accused to a particul ar crime.
R. v. Greaves, 2004 BCCA 484, 189 C.C.C. (3d) 305, 24 C.R. (6th) 15: An
off‌icer on duty received a report of an assault at a l iquor store, perpe-
trated by a black male and several white males who had f‌led eastbound.
The dispatch record indicated one black male and f‌ive white males, the
black male being described as eighteen years of age, six feet tall, skinny
build, short black hair, light T-shirt, and black pants. The off‌icer arrived
at the store within f‌ive minutes and found no one. He went east, where
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 contexts, s uch as customs stops or approved-scr eening-device demand s.

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