Frisk Research Paper

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Police officers in the United States are given considerable amount of authority to perform their duties. New York City’s officers are given the authority to Stop, Question and Possibly Frisk (SQF) an individual based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. SQF is also known as the Terry Stop. This procedure is conducted when an officer has reasonable suspicion to stop and question a suspicious individual. Next, a possible frisk can be conducted if the officer has a reason to believe that the individual is carrying or conceals a weapon or other contraband. A Frisk is limited to a pat down of a person’s outer garment for the purpose of detecting any concealed weapons. This tactic is derived from the 1968 Supreme Court case of Terry v.…show more content…
Mere suspicion, reasonable suspicion and Probable cause are the three standard of proof in the criminal justice system. But Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are the standard proof used in Terry v. Ohio. Mere suspicion is when law enforcement officers suspect criminal activity based on a hunch without actual proof. In this case the officer started with mere suspicion when he saw the Terry and Clinton alternately walking back and forth and pausing to stare inside the store window. However, mere suspicion does not permit law enforcement officers to stop, question or frisk an individual. But, the officer can continue observing the suspected individual(s) to see if any higher level of suspicion develops. Reasonable suspicion is the lowest standard of proof. It is a conclusion that a person has committed or is about to commit a crime. According to Terry v. Ohio, Reasonable suspicion grants permission to an officer to conduct a stop, question and possibly frisk. In Terry v. Ohio, Reasonable suspicion was established when Terry and Clinton followed Katz towards the same location. This was when detective McFadden decided to follow the suspects and found all three men together. Probable cause is the highest standard of proof. It is a derived right from the 4th amendment. This is the standard of proof to make an arrest. It is evidence that points to the facts that…show more content…
Therefore it was important to further interrogation their suspicious action. Also for his own protection, the officer had the right to conduct a pat-down of the outer garment of these men. Because, Officer had reasonable cause to believe they might have weapons. The court said that conducting a frisk was the essential performance of the officer’s investigative duty. If a frisk was not conducted in this case, the officer probably would have to answer to a
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