Lets Talk About Stop and Frisk
Video Transcribed: Oklahoma Attorney Isaiah Brydie again with Urban Legal coming at you with another video. And this video is going to be all about Terry stops. Basically, we commonly refer to them as stop and frisks. So the case that actually brought forth this doctrine of this stop and frisk is Terry V Ohio. It happened in downtown Cleveland. There was a police officer, he was walking his beat, and on a corner he saw a young African-American male. He suspected the committings of a crime. So he approached that individual, and then he asked him what he was doing out there. He felt as though he had reasonable suspicion of a crime. So he did what’s called a outer pat down of the individual. On the outer pat down of the individual, he found a gun in the person’s pocket, and then proceeded to arrest them.
That was actually deemed by the US Supreme court to be a valid action. So that also… With that also that goes straight into some of the things that are required and that you can have done to you or the police can do under a Terry stop and frisk. First thing being is that the police only need reasonable suspicion, reasonable articulable suspicion of a crime that was being committed, that for them to be able to approach you.
Upon approaching you in order to uphold officer safety, the police can do a outer search or outer pat down of an individual. What that outer pat down is designed to do is it’s designed to allow the police officer to identify by feeling either some type of weapon, like a gun or a knife, and then remove that gun or knife from that individual to protect the police officer.
If the police feel a bulge or something like that in individual’s pocket, then the police can then based on their training and experience, they can go into that pocket and remove that controlled substance. That’s a lot of times what the Terry stop and frisk is even employed to do. So let’s say, you have… The police have a reasonable suspicion of a crime. They may not have reasonable suspicion that you have like a weapon on you, but they have reasonable suspicion that you have drugs on you or something like that.
But they can’t initiate the Terry stop because of that reasonable suspicion for drugs, and they can’t initiate that pat down for the reasonable suspicion of drugs. But they can have reasonable suspicion, reasonable and articulable suspicion of a crime that you are about to commit using a weapon or anything of that nature. So what you see here is that once that item that is found, so the drugs or the weapon is found, then the police have probable cause to arrest you if you are violating the crime. So that’s a Terry stop in its whole.