Terry Stops Research Paper
The policy, which has been known as the Terry Stops has come to be defined as a brief period that an individual is detained by a police officer with sufficient and reasonable suspicion of being involved in criminal activity. However, the probable cause is not enough to be a probable cause of arrest. Based on the policy, an officer has the right to stop and frisk an individual in the event that the individual portrays a threat to the immediate environment. As such, in order to understand the nature of the law, this research paper will look at various aspects of the policy that includes its history, the legal issue it entails, the relation to the current policing and also an implementation of a system that will ensure that the policy is followed accordingly.
History and what the legal issue entails Terry Stops generally entails the brief detention of an individual by a police officer with the provision of a reasonable suspicion to the involvement in criminal activity. The case was in support of the Fourth Amendment prohibition clause. According to the ruling, the clause was not violated when a police officer stopped and frisked a person with probable cause to arrest. It argued that in the event that a police officer had a reasonable suspicion that an individual had committed a crime or was committing a crime, or even had a reasonable belief that the person was armed and dangerous, they were at liberty to stop them and frisk them (Thompson, 2009). In addition, the case also stipulated that the once a person has been stopped, the police officer could perform searches on them on their outer clothing to look for weapons.
However, it also stated that there has to be specific and articulable facts and not by just a hunch. Voluntary Contacts has been defined into two categories namely the Social Contact and the Non-Custodial Interview. The social contact is seen as; “A voluntary, consensual encounter between the police and a subject with the intent of engaging in casual and/or non-investigative conversation. The subject is free to leave and/or decline any of the officer’s requests at any point; it is not a seizure” (Seattle. gov, 2017). On the other hand, the Non-Custodial Interview is seen as; “A voluntary and consensual investigatory interview that an officer conducts with a subject during which the subject is free to leave and/or decline any of the officer’s requests at any point.
A reasonable cause has to be specific, objective and also inclusive of articulable facts. As such, for a Terry Stops to be considered as legal, the police officer has to have a reasonable cause such as the individual acting or behaving in a manner that may appear suspicious. In addition, there is also the aspect of stopping cars and searching them. This has been highly regarded as being legal. For instance, a car that is over speeding is liable to stop in the event that a police officer orders the driver to stop. Therefore, the definition of what the reasonable cause has to be made aware and in most situations, it has to be made aware among the police officers. There has to be an awareness program that will effectively define the concept of reasonable suspicion.
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