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Arrest — Probable Cause — Collective Knowledge Doctrine, Applied to Informant

State v. Eddie McAttee, 2001 WI App 262
For McAttee: Russell D. Bohach

Issue: Whether McAttee’s arrest was supported by probable cause.


¶11. First, Detective Kuchenreuther was entitled to rely on Officer Smith’s knowledge of the confidential informant. See State v. Black, 2000 WI App 175, ¶17 n.4, 238 Wis. 2d 203, 617 N.W.2d 210 (arresting officer may rely on collective knowledge of police force conveyed to the officer prior to arrest), review denied, 2000 WI 121, 239 Wis. 2d 310, 619 N.W.2d 93, cert. denied, 121 S. Ct. 1166 (2001). And Officer Smith had ample reason to rely on the information provided by this informant.

¶12. Second, for purposes of probable cause to arrest, the police were entitled to rely on information from a known and reliable informant without independently determining the reliability of the informant’s source or the source’s information….

¶14. McAttee cites no authority requiring police to gain additional information, corroborating that received from a reliable informant, before making an arrest. Here, clearly, the information disclosed by the informant was vital; it established probable cause to arrest McAttee for the homicide….”

Lengthy discussion of collective knowledge doctrine in U.S. v. Ramirez, 9th Cir No. 05-50165, 1/16/07, crux of which is that officer requesting that stop or arrest be made need not explain factual basis for that determination.

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