Unpacking the Redford Case: Can a Cell Phone Evoke Police Suspicion?

KD Law Group |

Michigan’s concealed weapon laws have been thrust into the spotlight with the emergence of the Redford case, raising questions about their applicability in today’s digital world. This case delves into the complexities surrounding whether a cell phone can create a bulge significant enough to justify police suspicion. Let’s delve into this legal saga and its broader implications.

The Redford Case: An Overview

In the lively streets of Detroit on a summer night in June 2022, police officers encountered a defendant with a suspicious bulge beneath their T-shirt. This encounter led to the discovery of a loaded firearm in the possession of the defendant, who lacked a Concealed Pistol License (CPL), sparking legal proceedings.

Legal Arguments and Precedents

Central to the Redford case is the debate over whether a bulge, attributed to a cell phone, warrants police intervention. Previous cases underscore that the mere presence of a bulge may not always justify reasonable suspicion. Factors such as size, shape, context, and behavior play crucial roles in assessing the legitimacy of police action.

Challenging the Law: Redford vs. Michigan

Plaintiff J. Redford took the lead in challenging a trial court’s decision regarding charges against the defendant. This legal battle shed light on Michigan’s legal framework, particularly focusing on the constitutionality of MCL 28.425f, which empowers officers to demand proof of a CPL from individuals carrying concealed weapons.

Legal Analysis and Appeal

The crux of the legal dispute revolved around the constitutionality of MCL 28.425f. While the trial court deemed the law unconstitutional and dismissed charges, an appeal reversed this decision. This emphasized Michigan’s authority to request CPL proof from individuals carrying concealed weapons, marking a shift in the legal landscape.


The Redford case serves as a stark reminder of the delicate balance between individual rights and law enforcement authority. While the legal outcome may have shifted, the broader implications of this case prompt contemplation on Michigan’s legal framework and the safeguarding of constitutional rights in an increasingly digital age.