Stop And Frisk Analysis

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Terry and Chilton are taking turns walking past a store front on a fall afternoon in Cleveland, Ohio. They each pass the store six times and then meet with a third man- Katz. A nearby police officer- Officer McFadden, notices the odd behavior of the pair and conducts a stop and frisk of all three men, which reveals two concealed weapons. In the subsequent trial for the charges of carrying a concealed weapon, the prosecution filed a motion for the suppression of the recovered guns as evidence citing that the manner in which the evidence was obtained was unlawful and inadmissible in court as a result. Terry v. State of Ohio (1968) was a landmark case for addressing the constitutionality of a common police practice across the country- the stop and frisk tactic-…show more content…
He argued that while he agrees that there was a search and seizure, he does not believe that probable cause for the search and seizure was present. He outlines the clear and stark difference in the probable cause and the charge filed. Douglas also defines “probable cause” and “reasonable suspicion” as wholly independent identities. Additionally, Douglas develops the issue of probable cause being befitting of the crime suspected by acknowledging the basis of a warrant and holds that the probable cause that the officer has must be to the same standard as the warrant a magistrate or judge would sign.
In Douglas’s argument he points out a large oversight of the rest of the court concerning probable cause. The officer in question did not have probable cause to assume that the men he stopped and frisked were carrying weapons. Rather, this is a speculation that resulted from another speculation of the officer. The suspicion is too far removed to be considered probable cause. Additionally, Douglas recognizes that the checks and balances of our system is being diminished by the ruling of the case because it undermines the authority of the judicial
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