Stop and Frisk
"Frequently, the police will observe
somebody who needs to be checked out.
That is the purpose of a stop and frisk,
which has many different names: a field
interview, a field inquiry, a threshold
inquiry, or just routine questioning. Terry v.
Ohio (1968), an 8-1 decision with only
Justice Douglas dissenting, gave police the
right to temporarily detain somebody if
there are specific articulable facts leading
a reasonable police officer to believe a
crime might be occurring. This standard is
known as "reasonable suspicion," although
some people call it articulable suspicion or
more than mere suspicion. It is not
necessary for the officer to articulate or
identify a specific crime they think is being
committed, only that a set of factual
circumstances exist that would lead a
reasonable officer to believe that criminal
activity is occurring. Note that arrest,
search, and seizure require probable
cause, or what a "reasonable person"
would believe. Stop and frisk, by contrast,
requires what a "reasonable officer" would
believe. Reasonable suspicion is one step
below probable cause and one step above a
"I've never understood how some
police officers get stuck on stupid
when it comes to articulating
~ Barry M. Baker
Police officers have the same problem
with reasonable suspicion as they have
with probable cause...they often fail to
articulate the circumstances which lead to
the reasonable suspicion. Your
reasonable suspicion will often lead to
probable cause and the arrest of an
individual(s). However, if you fail to
establish that you had reasonable
suspicion to conduct the stop which
leads to the ultimate arrest, the fruits of
your original suspicion will be lost. Like
probable cause, reasonable suspicion is
not a difficult concept to comprehend.
I've never understood how some police
officers get stuck on stupid when it
comes to articulating reasonable
suspicion. Read and comprehend the
information at the link I've provided
below, and you'll never have that problem.
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