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Terry vs. Ohio Facts 1. Petitioner Terry – convicted of carrying concealed weapon 2. Terry’s apprehension a.

Officer McFadden patrolling the street/downtown b. Terry and his companion, Chilton  caught McFadden’s attention i. Unable to say precisely what first drew his eyes to them ii. Developed routine habits of observation over the years (work) c. Terry & Chilton’s suspicious moves i. Walked towards a store, stared at the store window, conversed with another person ii. Routine repeated a number of times d. Officer suspected that Terry might be up to something & they may have a gun  decided that the situation was ripe for direct action e. Officer approached Terry i. Identified himself as a police officer ii. Asked their names  response: mumbled something f. Officer grabbed Terry  position that they were facing each other  officer patted down the outside of Terry’s clothing i. He completely removed Terry’s overcoat, removed a revolver from the pocket ii. Ordered all 3 men to face the wall with their hands raised iii. Patted down outside clothing of Chilton & other man  discovered another revolver from Chilton; none from the other man iv. Claims that he never placed his hands beneath their outer garments g. Officer asked store owner to call the police  accused were formally charged 3. Trial court – officer had probable cause to arrest the 3 men before he patted them down for weapons a. Officer had the right to pat down the outer garment b. Distinguished between an investigatory “stop” and an arrest, and between frisk of outer clothing for weapons and a full-blown search for evidence of crime i. Frisk – essential to performance of duty c. Affirmed by CA 4. Issues to be resolved a. When is a person seized and what constitutes a search? b. What is reasonable? c. The stop and frisk of Terry was very reasonable d. The sole justification for the search is protection of the officer and public Issue: Whether in all the circumstances of the on-the-street encounter, his right to personal security was violated by an unreasonable search & seizure 1. Seize & search happened a. Agreed that Officer seized Terry and subjected him to a search when he took hold of him and patted down the outer surfaces of his clothing 2. Rejected the idea that the 4th amendment does not limit the actions of a police officer; considerations a. Government interest

reasonably warrant the intrusion i. However. it would have been poor police work indeed for an officer of 30 years experience in the detection of thievery from stores in this same neighbourhood to have failed to investigate this behaviour further Issue: Whether there was justification for McFadden’s invasion of Terry’s personal security by searching him for weapons in the course of investigation . case at bar: enough facts 1. Case at bar: crime prevention & detection 1. case at bar: sole justification of search w/o warrant – protection of the officer & others nearby i. officer justified in believing that the suspicious individual is armed & presently dangerous to the officer or to the others a. taken together with rational inferences from those facts. such as those in this case. "There is nothing in the Constitution which prevents a policeman from addressing questions to anyone on the streets. given the proper circumstances. action done must be confined in scope to an intrusion reasonable designed to discover unlawful arms for the assault of the officer ii. officer need not be absolutely certain that the individual is armed c.i. unreasonable to deny the officer the power to take necessary measures to determine whether the person is in fact carrying a weapon. it seems to me the person may be briefly detained . Absent special circumstances. Police must able to point to specific & articulable facts which. White 1. patting down the outer garment – reasonable step Conclusion: admissible evidence. the person approached may not be detained or frisked but may refuse to cooperate and go on his way. petitioners obviously contemplating on robbery 2. any need to prevent the disappearance or destruction of evidence of crime – NOT always a justification of search without warrant. depends on circumstances a. Justifies intrusion ii.Yes 1. and took limited steps to do so 3. officer had to make a quick decision as to how to protect himself and others from possible danger. reasonable search – stop & frisk Concurring – J. what is relevant: specific reasonable inferences which he is entitled to draw from the facts in light of his experience Issue: WON the search is reasonable 1. Petitioner argues a. in order to neutralize the threat of physical harm b. Unreasonable for police to search until such time as the situation evolves to a point where there is probable cause to make an arrest 2. Officer – discharged legitimate investigative function when he decided to approach Terry & companions b. Test (for reasonable warrantless search): would the facts available to the officer at the moment of the seizure or the search warrant a man of reasonable caution in the belief that the action taken was appropriate? ii.

Probable cause for loitering.against his will while pertinent questions are directed to him. Court disclaims the existence of probable cause a. NOT for legal weapons 3. answers may not be compelled." Dissent – J. the person stopped is not obliged to answer. Douglas 1. Mystery how the search & seizure can be constitutional 2. and refusal to answer furnishes no basis for an arrest. than a judge has to authorize such action a. If police is to have greater power  must be decided upon by the people. although it may alert the officer to the need for continued observation. Court decision implies that a police has greater power to make a search & seizure. Of course. not the Court .