Terry V. Ohio Tests The Limitations Of The Fourth Amendment

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The case of Terry v. Ohio tests the limitations of the fourth amendment. On October 31st, 1963, three men were acting suspicious on the streets of Ohio. A police officer noticed three men walking back and forth and peering into a store as if they were planning to rob it. They continued doing so and ended up meeting with another person. At that point, officer McFadden approached to stop and frisk for any weapons or drugs. The officer found two unlicensed firearms on two of the men. Those two men, John Terry, and Richard Chilton, were both convicted of possession of an unlicensed concealed firearm. They appealed, due to their belief that the evidence used to convict them was obtained through unreasonable search and seizure. The Ohio Supreme Court …show more content…

The Supreme Court argued that the police officer had reasonable suspicion and searching the men was in the best interest of the officer for his protection. It was an eight to one decision, the one being William Douglas. He argued that they were giving too much power to police, and that there should be a court order for search and seizure. In this time period, stop and frisks were an everyday thing. Law enforcement broke the fourth amendment most of the time, abusing their badge that allowed them to search who they want, when they want, whether they were acting a certain way or not. The fourth amendment states that people are protected against unreasonable search and seizure. Would the action taken by the police officer be considered unconstitutional under other certain circumstances? Another way an officer could abuse the “stop and frisk” procedure is by racial discrimination. If a Police Officer does not like a certain race or ethnicity then that officer has the power to stop and frisk that person with no probable cause. Therefore the question presented is, does “stop and frisk” break the fourth …show more content…

The main few being the police officer's safety, the Fourth Amendment, and stop and frisk. Officer Mcfadden testifies that two men, John Terry and Chilton walked and stopped in front of a store, then met up at the corner down the street, and repeated to do so approximately 24 times. This would be considered almost the definition of probable cause, which is reasonable grounds for searching or pressing a charge. McFadden decided under his reasonable cause to interfere and find out what was the situation. Such actions made by the two men convinced the officer he needed to be sure he was safe. Therefore the officer held a stop and frisk and found a .38 on both men. Officer McFadden states that he feared the two men may have had a gun. Therefore during an investigation, he does have the right to stop and frisk those men. Any kind of search and seizure must be thought of under the certain circumstances. In this case, it is two men walking past a storefront a few dozen times and having a meeting after every time they walked the block. That is reasonable suspicion. The Supreme Court's decision involved the fact that the officer had nothing but a feeling that the men were up to no good, and had a reasonable doubt that they were

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