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jmwilso3
11-26-08, 10:20 AM
Hey all,

I'm a college student and hopeful LEO. I'm studying Terry stops in class right now and I wanted to get perspective from some LEO's.

1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop?

2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent?

3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

Thanks.


txinvestigator1
11-26-08, 11:27 AM
Hey all,

I'm a college student and hopeful LEO. I'm studying Terry stops in class right now and I wanted to get perspective from some LEO's.

1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop? Every situation is different, and there is no way to narrowly define that.

2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent? Depends on the state. In Texas, only a person arrested is required to ID themselves. It is a crime for a person lawfully detained to lie about their ID, but they are not required to give one.

3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

The answer to that is readily available on online research sources such as FindLaw. ;)

Answers embedded.

mcsap
11-26-08, 11:29 AM
Every officer's experience, view and experience is different. So a 2 year officer may not be able to claim the same " 6th sense" that a 22 year officer can.


lawduck
11-26-08, 10:19 PM
1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop?

2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent?

3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

Thanks.







1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop?

You need to be able to articulate certain able-to-be articulated facts.
You can't do a terry pat on someone just because you think he has a weapon. The courts have ruled officer safety is paramount but you need something more than a mere hunch.
I have read some interesting case law on this subject.
I am sure you know the case of Terry v. Ohio right? A Cleveland detective saw two guys casing out a jewelry store. He had reasonable suspicion to detain because a crime was about to be committed, is being committed, or will be committed. He can articulate that he knows robbers/burglars carry guns. In that case a terry pat was reasonable.

If you see what you believe to be a drug deal go down in front of you, I'd think a terry pat would be acceptable upon detaining the subjects. Drug dealers are known to carry weapons.

If there was a call on the radio from dispatch about a convenient store that just got robbed with a pistol and a black male with a red hoodie on was the suspect and you locate someone fitting that description, then a terry pat is justified.


Here is something I do. When I get someone out of the car I tell them as soon as we relocate, "do you mind if I search you for weapons?" I have never had anyone deny me access. And when they consent to a search I'm in there looking for drugs, weapons, etc.

If you can articulate why you believe someone may have a weapon on them, you're good to go on a terry pat.








2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent?

You have the right to remain silent. But no one seems to exercise it.
The only thing you can't do (in Texas) while you're detained (and remember what a lawful detainment is) is lie about your name, d.o.b., or address.
Once you're under arrest though you have to identify yourself. I guess you'd sit in jail forever if you didn't identify yourself.
Likewise, if you stop a citizen for walking in the street where a sidewalk is provided (arrestable offense), you have a lawful detainment and that person can't lie about who they are. They can refuse to ID themselves, but if that happens you just arrest them for the offense then they have to ID and you have a county charge.







3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

Again, you must be able to articulate certain facts. You ever heard of the "plain feel doctrine"?
Good article here,
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m2194/is_n2_v63/ai_15267894

If you can justify a terry pat or were given consent to pat down for weapons, and you feel something that based on your prior law enforcement experience you know to be a plastic bag with a substance with the consistency of marijuana, under the plain feel doctrine you can investigate to see what it is. However, you can not manipulate something such as a crack rock. You can fondle and crush at it. It must be observed in the "pat".

It's all in how you articulate.





Some people call it creative writing.:p







I am no expert nor do I claim to be. I have read a lot of case law and have gained some valuable knowledge from some of the experienced officers I work with. I am a rookie cop that has been off of FTO since Aug. 1 of this year.
If some of you old heads or more experience guys want to elaborate on my post feel free. I am always trying to learn something myself.

Also, there are some really good online articles that give much more info than any of us could provide.


Good luck with your decision in your career path.
Being an officer is a lot of fun.

ParadeRest
11-27-08, 12:35 AM
Hey all,

1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop?

2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent?

3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

Thanks.


1. Read the Terry decision, once I read that in the academy the whole Terry stop (we call them Stop/Question/Possible Frisks) thing became clear to me.

2. You don't have to say anything to the police but lying about your pedigree is a misdemeanor here.

3. In a SQF a search/frish is not automatic unless you are being stopped for a violent crime. If I see an unexplainable bulge, reach in and determine that it's something innocent but I find drugs in the pocket, yes you're going in for the drugs. Other states have a plain touch doctrine but from what I remember it's not allowed here. Once you're under for the drugs then you are fair game for a search.

Citicop
11-27-08, 12:44 AM
Hey all,

I'm a college student and hopeful LEO. I'm studying Terry stops in class right now and I wanted to get perspective from some LEO's.

1. What is enough reasonable suspicion to terry stop some one? Just a hunch? I.E. seeing a completely normal person walking down the street at night. What does the totality of the circumstances need to be in order for you to feel lawful about a terry stop?

2. What does a citizen that has been terry stopped have to tell the LEO? I've heard just thier name and birthday, but I've also heard "suspects" have to tell what they are doing, why are they here, ect... Can citizens just ID themselves and then remain silent?

3. Supposedly in a Terry a LEO can search the outer clothing for weapons. The point of the frisk is officer safety, correct? What if an officer does his pat down and feels what he believes to be a bag of weed in an outer pocket. Since it is does not feel like a weapon can he search it? Or does the feeling of something like drugs give the LEO probable cause to do a full on search?

Thanks.

1.) Reasonable Suspicion is just that. If a reasonable person would believe that there was criminal activity occurring, and the people present may know something about that, an officer can detain them until he knows what's going on. That detention is more limited in scope than an arrest, and the search allowed is similarly limited. "Totality of the Circumstances" just means that no single factor is looked at, only the situation as a whole can be used.

2.) You never have to give incriminating information about yourself. You always have the right to remain silent. However, refusal to respond to reasonable questions under the circumstances will only prolong the detention. Most people cooperate.

3.) Do a search for the "Plain Feel" doctrine. If I have the ability to frisk legally, and feel something that I can immediately identify, based on my knowledge, training, and experience, as contraband, then it's admissible for me to expand the scope of my search based on that. The evidence will be usable in court.

Hope that helps-

Citicop.

jmwilso3
11-28-08, 05:41 PM
Thanks everyone.

I had never heard of the plain feel doctrine, which helped out a lot.

Group9
11-29-08, 08:03 AM
Thanks everyone.

I had never heard of the plain feel doctrine, which helped out a lot.


There is also the "better suppressed than killed" doctrine, that you will learn about once you get out.