Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in Staten Island, Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Walter Scott in North Charleston and, most recently, Freddie Gray in Baltimore have dominated the headlines this entire school year. These men and their stories provide the basis for claims of racially discriminatory treatment of African Americans at the hands of the police. It is true that each of the stories surrounding these men is different, but the one unifying theme is that police around the country are interpreting our Constitutional rights in a way that is insufficient to protect African Americans and the population in general. This paper will explore one Constitutional right— the 4th Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizures--and examine how one Supreme Court decision that narrowed the scope of the 4th Amendment and unintentionally created a mechanism by which the rights of citizens could be unfairly impeded by police. On June 10 1968, the United States Supreme Court sided with the government in the case Terry v Ohio, and held that the practice of “stop and frisk” was within the bounds of the 4th Amendment and therefore constitutional. On October 31, 1963, while walking a routine beat in Cleveland, Ohio, Officer Martin McFadden noticed a group of three African American men acting suspiciously outside of a jewelry store. After watching them walk by the store and reconvene almost 24 times, McFadden approached the group, identified himself as an officer and
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In an 8-to-1 decision, the Court held that the search undertaken by the officer was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment and that the weapons seized could be introduced into evidence against Terry. The Court found that the officer acted on more than an “hunch” and that “a reasonably prudent
The United States Constitution affords all people certain rights. The Fifth Amendment states that we have the right against self incrimination. The Fourth Amendment protects us from unreasonable search or seizure. People have the right to confront witnesses and accusers. Nothing can change these rights unless the U.S. constitutions were to be rewritten and that is not likely to happen. In this paper we will be examining the Fourth Amendment, learning the requirements for obtaining a search warrant, defining probable cause, describing when search and seizure does not require a warrant. We will also explain the rationale for allowing warrantless searches, examine the persuasiveness of these reasons, and determine if probable cause is always
The constitutional requirements of stop and frisk practices were bought up by the Supreme Court during the court case of Terry v. Ohio. Before this case, it was illegal for Police Officers to stop someone and frisk them unless they were being arrested or have a search warrant for that person. After various cases that tested the constitutional rights of Americans such as Sibron v. New York, Peters v. New York and Terry v. Ohio, the Supreme Court cane to the conclusion that police officers can frisk someone without having
This case mainly deals with the interpretation of our Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects us from unlawful search and seizures. What we can learn from this case are: the differences in court systems, the elements that comprise the Fourth Amendment, and the controversies surrounding it. The text relevant to this case can be found within the first six chapters of our textbook, with an emphasis on Chapter 6 “Criminal Law and Business”.
“In 2005, a study analyzing data accumulated statewide in Texas reveals disproportionate traffic ceases and searches of African Americans and Hispanics, even though law enforcement authorities were more liable to find contraband on Whites.” (The Reality of Racial Profiling) The utilization of personal characteristics or comportment patterns to make generalizations about a person is called racial profiling. Throughout time, the utilization of race by law enforcement agencies in their policing activities has received considerable attention across the nation. The 4th amendment right that one has as an American, which is protecting against unreasonable search and seizure, is becoming contravened; one reason for the way one looks. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that racial profiling violates the constitutional requirement that all persons be accorded equal protection of the law, but it is still occurring in our society. Racial Profiling has caused the violation of our rights whether it maybe from a terry stop that was originated for the case Terry vs. Ohio, stop and frisk, racial vehicle stops, and the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act also known as Arizona SB 1070.
In the case Terry v. Ohio, the defendant John Terry argued that his Fourth Amendment right was violated when a police officer conducted a search on him, and found a concealed weapon. According to the officer, he had been monitoring Terry’s actions prior to the stop in fear of his safety, thus, had enough reasonable suspicion to stop and search the defendant. The Supreme Court decided to rule in favor of the state determining that the officer may stop and frisk any suspicious person when he feels that his safety or those of others are in danger. A Terry Stop is when the police are allowed to stop, question and frisk someone they believe is behaving suspiciously (Larson, 2000). I am going to argue how police officers benefit from the Terry Stops even though on many occasions they take advantage of their power and act unethical. Essentially, it is acceptable for police officers to stop and frisk any suspicious person because it enhances the community. Furthermore, from the law enforcement perspective, any officer of the law should have a mandatory right to stop and search for weapons in order to protect themselves at all times. It is obvious that society feels that they cannot trust law enforcement because minorities are more likely to be stopped and frisk. Needless to say, it can be argued that we are one step closer to chaos. I would consider that the Supreme Court clarify and specify a little more on the stop and frisk law because ambiguity. In my opinion, anytime an
am writing this essay on the 4th amendment search and seizure. First of all there was a guy named James Madison, who funny enough became the 4th U.S President, and he also dropped the idea of the 4th amendment. Then after he dropped that idea, the Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who also became a president later, made it a thing. There was a guy named Potter Stewart who was the judge in the court case of Katz vs. the United States, which means that was the case that prevented security cameras from invading your space. If the police, or whomever
These exceptions are indeed consistent with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure for the previously stated reasons. With regards to open field searches the court finds that the Fourth Amendment only protects the privacy of the individual and their property within a close proximity to the curtilage of their home. Warrantless search of an open field amounts to little more than trespassing rather than a violation of a constitutional right. With regards to the search of objects in plain view. The court has held that objects in plain view have lost any reasonable expectation of privacy simply, and clearly because of the fact that the owner of these personal effects has not afforded the kind of privacy over these
Many of the Bill of Rights can be used as provisions that protect the individuals who try and influence politics. Two provisions I am going to choose are the First Amendment and search and seizure.
Stop-and-frisk, a crime prevention tactic that allows a police officer to stop a person based on "reasonable suspicion, of criminal activity and frisk based on reasonable suspicion that the person is armed and dangerous. In fact, Judge Scheindlin pointedly wrote in her opinion that she was “not ordering an end to the practice of stop and frisk.” She said they could continue if the city complied with court-ordered remedies to make sure that the stops and frisks did not violate the Constitution. Scheindlin called these “Terry stops,” referring to Terry v. Ohio, in which the U.S. Supreme Court in 1968 ruled that a police officer can stop and frisk individuals where there is a reasonable basis for
An analysis of history and the contemporary exercise of police practices suitably describe the experiences of many black men when dealing with law enforcement officers. Before the due process revolution that occurred in the 1960s, the rights of many back men were abused on a daily basis. These practices continue regardless of a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court that was geared towards limiting the discretion of police officers. Through the ruling, the Supreme Court sought to promote the legal rights of black American as compared to any other court in the judicial system (Maclin, 2012, p.1275). In light of these issues, the Terry v. Ohio lawsuit was filed after John W. Terry, the petitioner was stopped and frisked by an officer after the law enforcement personnel suspected him of casing a store for a possible robbery. After the police officer approached Terry for questioning, he decided to search him first, which contributed to numerous concerns regarding searches based on the Fourth Amendment. The case represents the need for a boundary between a reasonable belief and probable suspicion based on coherent facts.
Terry vs. Ohio is a Supreme Court case which ruled on the legality of Stop and Frisks. The case eventually rules that Stop and Frisks do not violate a suspect’s fourth amendment right. The facts of this case surround the defendant, John Terry, who was frisked by Officer Martin McFadden. McFadden was watching Terry, along with one other man, with reasonable suspicion that he was planning on robbing a store. McFadden approached them, stopped them and proceeded to frisk them.While frisking Terry, McFadden found a gun. Mr. Chief Justice Warren delivers the court’s opinion which expresses the rule for the legality of Stop and Frisks. A Stop and Frisk does not infringe on a suspect’s fourth amendment rights if the need to search is greater than
On October 31st, 1963, in Cleveland, Ohio, Officer Martin McFadden observed two men standing outside a storefront acting suspiciously. He watched one of the men walk down the street pausing to look in a store window. At the end of the street the man turned around and proceeded to walk back, pausing at the same store window as on his way down. Upon reaching the other man, the two mingled and talked to each other. Officer McFadden witnessed these men do this several times. Officer McFadden concerned the men were “casing a job”, then followed the two men, and watched as they met up in front of Zucker’s Store. At this point, Officer McFadden walked up to the men, identified himself as a police officer, and asked for their names. He asked the first man, Terry to turn around. He frisked him, and, feeling a pistol frame inside Terry 's overcoat, ordered the men into the store. Terry and Chilton were charged with possession of a concealed weapon, and were each sentenced to three-years in prison. The arrest of Terry set in motion a series of lower court cases that ultimately led to the landmark Supreme Court case that addressed the Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures. The United States Supreme Court decided the case of Terry v. Ohio on June 10, 1968. The question that arises in the Terry v. Ohio case has to do with the Fourth Amendment, specifically the line "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against
In 1991, nearly 10% of all United States’ murders occurred in New York City (La Vorgna, 2012). The United States’ civil liberties grant citizen’s rights and freedoms as determined by the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Every citizen has the right to walk their streets without being racially targeted by police. They also have the right to roam these streets without being mugged or killed. Both are civil liberties. Amidst times of racial and ethnic animosity, this country faces a problem between law enforcement protection and citizen’s civil liberties. Stop-and-frisk is a policing tactic where officers stop, question, and frisk a civilian based on reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Many argue the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) use of stop-and-frisk is an obvious violation of the Constitution and is based on racial discrimination. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has heard many controversial cases dealing with this exact problem. Cases such as Terry v. Ohio and Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin’s partial ruling of Floyd v. City of New York have greatly impacted both law-enforcement tactics and the meanings of certain civil liberties. An analysis of the United States’ judicial history and the biased decisions of Judge Scheindlin shows the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk tactic is not only constitutionally reasonable, but a non-discriminatory way of reducing crime.