Question of the Day: Stop and Frisk. Yes or No?

Stop 'N Frisk (courtesy mic.com)

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,” attorney Joshua Prince of Civil Rights Defense Firm reports, referring to the case of Commonwealth v. Hicks. “Simply put, the Supreme Court intends to decide whether law-abiding citizens can be harassed and interrogated by police for merely open or conceal carrying a firearm.” Seems pretty simple. Yes, but . . .

there are plenty of citizens — and a whole heck of a lot of gun owners — who adhere to the British police state philosophy: if you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about. And stop-and-frisk is effective in high crime neighborhoods. So . . . yes or no?

comments

  1. avatar Rick the Bear says:

    Presumed innocent. Where has that gone?

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      To trial courts, where it has always been. Guilt and innocence has always been pretty much irrelevant to search and seizure law. The question is the reasonableness of the search and/or seizure. The 4A only protects against unreasonable searches and seizures. The presumption of innocence isn’t even explicitly in the Constitution.

    2. avatar Jocko says:

      Police don’t arrest you and prosecutors don’t prosecute you because they think you’re innocent. They’ve arrested, charged, and are prosecuting you because they think they can prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The police and prosecutors are not impartial. They are not the courts. They are not the judge. They are not the jury. Any 11th grade civics class would have taught this. Maybe you were out that day.

      The comment here keep getting more and more ‘stoopid’ as the years go on. I think most of you wear velcro shoes for your own safety.

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        In Utopia, maybe. In reality it isn’t at all uncommon for a cop to arrest you because you pissed him off, and then make up something to charge you with. It also isn’t uncommon for prosecutors to take you to court even though they know you’re innocent if they think they can get a jury to sink you anyway.

        Truth and justice are no longer of much relevance in the game.

    3. avatar Nana says:

      Doesn’t exist anymore

    4. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

      Was Zimmerman presumed innocent? The cop in the Mike Brown case?

  2. avatar Illinois_Minion says:

    Nope.

    Innocent until PROVEN guilty.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      True but entirely irrelevant to the question presented. If the police cannot search before a conviction, then there will be no evidence to support a charge or an arrest, much less any conviction.
      The Constitution does not protect against searches of your person. It protects against “unreasonable” searches. The standard is whether there is ” a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity,” which by the way is less than “probable cause to suspect the commission of a crime.”

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        But since the police know the courts will assume they’re telling the truth, they’ll arrest you even without probable cause because they can make something up that serves.

        The fact that the courts assume the cops are telling the truth is by itself begs corruption because cops know their stories will be believed.

    2. avatar Hank says:

      Too bad, because the next step is Stop and Sodomize. The first insertion of this new, wildly popular policing policy will be in San Francisco.

      1. avatar Geoff PR says:

        You laugh, but “Stop and Sodomize” is very much a thing.

        It wasn’t that far back when a woman was pulled over, the cop didn’t like her demeanor, and had her dragged to a hospital where she was internally violated a few times, thinking she had drugs on her.

        I couldn’t find that specific example, but here is another one, nearly as heinous :

        http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Woman-claims-constitutional-violation-in-vaginal-6431919.php

        1. avatar Garrison Hall says:

          Happened to a guy in New Mexico, I believe.

  3. avatar Lcsw says:

    Stop and frisk is ridiculously unconstitutional.

  4. avatar Tom in Oregon says:

    Absolutely not.
    I didn’t agree with it back in the day, and never participated in it.
    Now if I was arresting you for a crime, you better believe I searched every inch of you.

    1. avatar BLoving says:

      When you put your latex gloves on, did you do so slowly and deliberately in the hopes the suspect would simply TELL you where the dope was hidden?
      🤠

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        “Well, might as well be thorough.”

      2. avatar American Idiot says:

        “Cavity searches all around , GO DEEP!”

        One of the funniest Robert Stack roles, as ATF Agent Flemming in Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

        Stop and frisk is wrong and counts as illegal search and seizure.

  5. avatar MeRp says:

    Not just no, but hell no.

    what part of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” does anyone not understand.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Sure we understand–we have a right against UNREASONABLE searches, not all searches. So the question remains: is stop and frisk unreasonable? Only the courts can define where that line is, and there are substantial arguments on both sides of the question. For example, a police officer sees a man on the street who he knows from his experience to be a drug dealer and a gang member known to carry a gun who is underage, a felon, both, etc. Is it “unreasonable” for the officer to search that person for a firearm? If so, why? The NYPD found the technique particularly useful in getting guns off the mean streets and in arresting people on illegal gun possession charges, at least until the federal court found the practice to be unconstitutional. But as that court held, the mere practicality of the program was not enough to validate its reasonableness. OF course the cops were pissed, as it took an effective crime fighting tool out of their kit.

      1. avatar Nick says:

        That example is completely irrelevant because even if stop and frisk was ruled unconstitutional (which it should be) an officer would still have the right the search and arrest said subject because they would know (or have a reasonable belief) that that person was a prohibited person in possession of a firearm, which is a felony.

        1. avatar Kenneth says:

          That’s the meaning of; “supported by oath or affirmation”.
          Someone(the arresting officer or someone else) must either A)show up and swear under oath, or B)sign an affidavit attesting to their personal knowledge of a crime being committed, or that was committed, by the person to be searched.
          Its pretty straightforward if read without regard to a personal agenda…

      2. avatar Bill says:

        Big difference between having evidence that a person is/has committed a crime and searching them in conjunction with an arrest and your scenario were if you look like the kind of guy that maybe might have done something cop can go on a fishing trip to get evidence to support thier assumptions.

    2. avatar Leighton Cavendish says:

      and they do not understand “shall not be infringed”…or ” keep and bear arms”…

  6. avatar PT says:

    So do open carriers need to be stopped? It’s clear they have a weapon so no need for a Terry stop and frisk. It would seem stop and frisk would apply to concealed carry only.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The broader question, as we have seen in countless videos, is whether the police have cause to stop and interrogate an open carrier, demand identification, etc., as they seem fond of doing. And as these videos also tended to show, the police “interest” in open carriers seemed more designed to discourage the practice than to investigate the potential commission of a crime, i.e., a harassment. The police felt justified in doing so because open carry upset the sheeple.

      Open carry should be an easy question: if the practice is legal where it is occurring, the police have no cause to stop and interrogate. Concealed carry is a more difficult question in states in which licensing is required.

  7. avatar ATFAgentBob says:

    Not just a no but a resounding F*CK NO! This policy, effectiveness not withstanding, is insanely unconstitutional and doesn’t even attempt to adhere to our concept of innocent until proven guilty. I don’t care about the British mantra listed in defense of this policy, screw that I still don’t want some cop feeling all up on my junk and MRS.ATFAgentBob should they get a weird hunch that we’re the drug dealing axe murdering rapist couple that could just make their sorry ass career and get them that “private informant” coke whore they’ve been lusting after since they first booked her and she offered them anything they wanted to just let her go.

  8. avatar Specialist38 says:

    No….now there needs to be some prosecution for this abuse.

  9. avatar Amfivena says:

    No. It makes no sense to compromise civil liberties to make public servant jobs easier.

    For the most part, the problem isn’t finding the criminals – it is holding them accountable after capture. Stop-and-frisk does nothing to address this problem.

    How about we end the war on drugs, largely eliminate plea agreements and hold district attorneys accountable for their job performance. Yearly recidivism reports on plea agreements would be a good start.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “It makes no sense to compromise civil liberties to make public servant jobs easier.” – This. The job of the government is to protect our rights. If it can only do that by violating them, what’s the point?

    2. avatar Roymond says:

      If you’re going to do away with plea agreements, we also need to bring an end to the practice of piling on multiple charges for a single action. Prosecutors should be able to bring only one charge for a single action, rather than the current practice of piling on every charge that could conceivably apply.

  10. avatar Vanished, Like a Fart In the Wind says:

    NO!!!!!! Does the 2nd, 4th and 5th Amendments mean ANYTHING!
    2nd Amendment :A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
    4th Amendment: Prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures and sets out requirements for search warrants based on probable cause as determined by a neutral judge or magistrate.
    5th Amendment: Sets out rules for indictment by grand jury and eminent domain, protects the right to due process, and prohibits self-incrimination and double jeopardy.

  11. avatar Snatchums says:

    My question is, what happens to someone when they refuse a search? If the cop does nothing and lets them go I kind of have a hard time saying it’s an unconstitutional search, the person agreed to it. Now, if the cop does something dumb like threatening obstruction charges, then it is absolutely unconstitutional and the cop needs to be arrested under deprivation of rights.

    People need to assertively deny cops running roughshod over the 4th amendment, especially if they are in fact doing nothing wrong. There is nothing a cop can do to me that pisses me off more or faster than being accused of wrongdoing when I’ve done nothing wrong.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “People need to assertively deny cops running roughshod over the 4th amendment, especially if they are in fact doing nothing wrong.” Easier said than done. The deck is stacked against the citizen in favor of the cop.

      1. avatar Snatchums says:

        That is absolutely true, however just because a fight is difficult doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be fought in the first place.

        I don’t have a wife or kids so it is easier for me to be cavalier about it since no one really depends on me.

        1. avatar Mike says:

          It seems reasonable to first ask for id. If the person has a warrant out for him, search away. If the person is clean and there is no probable cause, the cops need to move on.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      If the cop “does nothing,” there is no search and no fourth amendment issue.

    3. avatar BLoving says:

      Officer: “Sir, I’d like to search you for weapons.”
      Ordinary dude on the street: “No.”
      Officer: “Oh, okay.” (Shuffles away dejected)

      Mmmm… Nope. I just don’t see that happening that way…
      🤠

  12. avatar WILCO3700 says:

    Stop and frisk is a good tool when conducting an investigation into a potential crime. However, it as been severely abused. Stopping random ppl as they walk along the sidewalk is not what the Supreme Court intended and is unconstitutional. If someone broke into a house and you are in the immediate vicinity and match description then your fair game. Not , hey I’m bored let me pat you down to see if maybe you have drugs or a gun, nothing cool have a good day.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      Or “I’m bored let me pat you down and plant something on you so I can rack up another arrest point”.

  13. avatar uncommon_sense says:

    Absolutely not!

    Violent criminals use their hands and feet more often than rifles and shotguns to murder their victims. If a rifle strapped over your back is sufficient cause for police to detain, interrogate, and frisk you, then having nothing more than working hands and feet is sufficient cause to detain, interrogate, and frisk you.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      They use handguns much more than the other three combined. What about concealed carry of a handgun? You don’t answer one of the key questions presented by stop and frisk, a practice intended to discover hidden firearms or other weapons.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        Well, we should be very specific about the true nature of “stop-and-frisk”: it was the practice where police stopped anyone and frisked them whether or not Officer Friendly could see any evidence of a handgun. That practice must be absolutely forbidden since anyone COULD be carrying any manner of “contraband”. The fact that anyone could be in violation of some law is not sufficient cause to detain them.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          If someone gives permission to be frisked, then they should be protected by the Fifth Amendment since by that action they may be incriminating themselves. But if they don[t give permission and the cops frisk them, anything the cops find should be excluded from being evidence because it was improperly obtained.

          So unless there’s probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, frisking shouldn’t produce anything a cop can act on anyway.

  14. avatar rt66paul says:

    Other than for felons, that have it in writing as part of their parole, separate from regular parole(that they agreed to), NO! We are sliding down that slippery slope past a police state. We need to repeal the Patriot Act, the spying on the people, and the confiscation of money or other goods without a trial.

  15. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

    Stop-n-Frisk is one of the most highly effective crime fighting tools the big city police have. It is demonstrated to be a measure that actually prevents crime, by getting guns out of the hands of those who are prohibited and getting the person off the street – for at least a while. Can’t commit a crime if you’re in lockup, right?

    It’s also IMHO a violation of certain basic rights man has been granted by a loving and merciful, but just, God.

  16. avatar Shire-man says:

    I’m all for it if it were consistent.
    Pull over every motor vehicle to see if the driver has a valid license. Road checkpoints at every block.

  17. avatar Mack Bolan says:

    Of course stop and frisk is a joke. However the constitution is no protection against overreach by any agent of the state. They will do whatever they deem appropriate at any time for any reason.

    Unless you have the stones to summarily execute a cop on the spot for any illegal search, there is no debate.

  18. avatar CZ Peasy says:

    You know what else is effective? Paramilitary death squads. So we should have those due to effectiveness.

    1. avatar Chris Morton says:

      I don’t doubt that there are more than a few cops who wish they were in Brazil or the Philippines.

      “Shot while trying to escape” sounds the same in Portuguese or Tagalog in 2017 as it did in German in 1942.

  19. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    “And stop-and-frisk is effective in high crime neighborhoods.” I imagine decimating* the population of young black men in response to crime would be highly effective in high crime neighborhoods. Doesn’t make it a moral, legal, just, good, or smart move.

    *Decimate means to reduce by 10%. It comes from the Roman practice of killing every tenth man in a unit because of some failure. The word should be reasonably related to the original meaning and the prefix deci, which means one tenth. And yes, this is the hill I choose to die on, even if the assholes in charge of dictionaries disagree. https://www.merriam-webster.com/words-at-play/the-original-definition-of-decimate. If you want to use a word to mean devastate, use devastate. If you want to use a word to mean to destroy a significant but in no way majority part of a thing, I’m fine with you using decimate.

    1. avatar Button Gwinnett says:

      I got your six on this hill, partner.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        We have the high ground, but they have the numbers.

    2. avatar Paul B. says:

      I don’t believe it is effective anywhere, including high crime neighborhoods. When residents are routinely stopped, harassed, interrogated, and manhandled without reasonable suspicion that they are committing a crime, they will understandably try to avoid any interaction with the police. 2 things happen. 1) they are more likely to resolve disputes among themselves rather than initiate contact with the police, and 2) they are less likely to report crime and less likely to provide eyewitness accounts to the police.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        My comment assumes, for the sake of argument, that stop and frisk is effective. It doesn’t really matter in the context of my response. Also, I don’t think the communities in which stop and frisk took place had a good relationship with law enforcement to begin with.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          In NYC, when stop-n-frisk was curtailed, crime continued to go down.
          Seemingly showing that stop-n-frisk wasn’t as effective as the city fathers would have us believe.

        2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

          Either you didn’t read my comment or your reading comprehension is bad. It is completely irrelevant as to whether or not stop and frisk is effective. My argument is that an effective violation of the Constitution is still a violation of the Constitution. Therefore, it doesn’t matter if it is effective.

    3. avatar Specialist38 says:

      This. Decimate is one of the most misused words.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        Literally. (See what I did there)?

  20. avatar Hi Power Toter says:

    NO.

      1. avatar Gman says:

        Not only NO but frack no.
        +1

  21. avatar little horn says:

    day by day, one by one they are nullifying the constitution in northern states. seems like they havent changed their control freak ways since the Civil War.

    1. avatar billy-bob says:

      War of Northern Aggression

  22. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

    Why does Joshua Prince have two law firms? Presumably, one is his dad’s (http://www.princelaw.com/), and one is his (http://www.civilrightsdefensefirm.com/). Apparently he works at both.

  23. avatar TwoJohnsonsAreBetterThanOne says:

    Stop and frisk is a logical consequence of strict gun control laws, when only outlaws have guns.

    1. avatar Paul B. says:

      This. Many liberals decry the war on drugs (rightly, IMO) because of the widespread infringement of civil liberties it engenders. For some reason they don’t realize or accept that the same result will come from any “war on guns.”

      1. avatar LarryinTX says:

        There is precious little I agree with liberals on, but this is sure one of them. The “War on Drugs” has been thoroughly lost for so many decades that most people don’t remember the name. Time to put it out of its misery. I could even suggest a name for the law eliminating it, let’s call it “The Darwin Law”, for the children.

        1. avatar Big Bill says:

          The war on drugs is/was lost because the gov’t chose ther wrong agency to oversee it: the DOJ.
          They have only one way to measure success: the number of prosecutions (successful prosecution is only a bonus). Curtailing the problem doesn’t enter into it.
          So we have a system that is specifically designed to punish (prosecute) without regard to progress in solving a problem.
          Then they wonder why the problem is getting worse.

  24. avatar Old Region Fan says:

    The fact that we are even talking about this is….. a failure !

  25. avatar racer88 says:

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere open or concealed carrying of a firearm – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    Imagine if….

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere expression of Free Speech – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether merely peaceably assembling – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere practice of your chosen religion – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether merely petitioning the government to redress grievances – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    “The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will be deciding whether the mere hiring of a lawyer to represent you – in the absence of any criminal conduct – is sufficient to establish reasonable suspicion of criminal conduct,”

    I could go on, of course. But, I think I made my point.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      And well. To conduct a Terry stop, the cop must have reasonable suspicion of crime. The exercise of an everyday lawful activity is not enough. It requires suspicious activity. Like carrying a gun while wearing a ski mask in weather conditions that don’t warrant a ski mask.

  26. avatar DaveL says:

    In theory, I could live with Terry v. Ohio. The problem is that the standard of “reasonable suspicion” has been progressively diluted into nonexistence. It has been reduced to the requirement that an officer recite a litany of stock phrases when the case comes to court (“Furtive movement” is a great one. “Training and experience” in another).

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      I find that to be a general problem with police and courts.

      1. avatar Mark N. says:

        Agreed. The police will say what gets them the desired result, even if they have to lie under oath to do so, and the judges almost always believe the cop. Juries too. Although most cops are honest and truthful in most cases, I have seen too many lie to count.

        And people are catching on–just look at the number of cops being prosecuted for homicide whose reports simply did not match the available evidence. One of the worst (if there is such a thing) was the LaQuan what-his-name case in Chicago. Only one cop fired, and he emptied his gun after the suspect had been shot and was on the ground. Thirteen other officers did nothing. Funny, all the police statements matched–but they did not match the video that showed up a year later, or the sound track that showed up months after that, that was saved only because someone did not know how to shut off his dash cam.

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          Parole and probation officers delight in the fact that their word is considered to be true unless proven otherwise — it’s one of their best tools for whipping their “clients” into submission.

          Over and over I’ve seen POs demand a response to something and when told it would violate the “client’s” constitutional rights basically say it’s up to them whether those rights apply or not. It’s one reason cops love having gobs of people in a community on probation or parole: it means they can demand answers or information and get it because to argue means taking someone to jail. The “obstructing justice” bit it used for that regularly, telling someone that if they don’t answer they’re obstructing justice, and to hell with any Fourth or Fifth Amendment issues.

  27. avatar Cockatoo says:

    No. No no no no no. Nope. Nyet. Uh-uh. Non.
    And I have to take issue with the idea that “stop-and-frisk is effective in high-crime neighborhoods.” It has never been more than a very thinly-veiled excuse to use the police to harass and intimidate black people and thus “keep them in their place.” It is transparently unjust. No amount of juggled statistics can excuse or rationalize such an abuse of authority.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Really? You know full well that people living in bad neighborhoods in NYC no way in hello kitty have concealed carry permits, and that therefore just about anyone with a gun other than a cop is a criminal under NYC Code. Just because most of them are blacks doesn’t mean that the policy is racist.

      1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

        “Just because most of them are blacks doesn’t mean that the policy is racist.” Sadly, it does mean that under some of the most restrictive definitions of racism used today.

  28. avatar Colt Magnum says:

    Hell no.

  29. avatar Gov. William J Le Petomane says:

    And while we’re at it, why don’t we just shred the Constitution and use it for toilet paper?

    1. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

      I’m sure the real world reason is that vellum isn’t very absorbent.

    2. avatar clst says:

      Barry already did that

    3. avatar Mack Bolan says:

      Pretty sure the Whiskey Rebellion created the Constitutional toilet paper a couple 100 years ago.

  30. avatar Marcus (Aurelius) Payne says:

    How can concealed carry be cause for suspicion to frisk when a frisk is necessary to discover the weapon at all?

    Since observation of the firearm must come first to create the suspicion that warrants the search, but that observation requires a search to observe the firearm at all. Seems like an abusive policy to me.

    Also: explicitly lawful behavior cannot be cause for suspicion. How is that even a question?

    I helped a friend study while he was in law school and much of the material seemed to revolve around accepting the tortured logic that has been accepted by a legal system run by people who have agendas other than finding truth.

    1. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “Also: explicitly lawful behavior cannot be cause for suspicion.” Well, it that goes against the basis of the Terry Doctrine, so I guess we’re sol.

    2. avatar Mark N. says:

      Well, some people are not all that careful and expose their firearm directly or through one of those “obvious” bulges, funny walks, hiking up pants, etc, that police are trained to look for as signs that a firearm is being carried. Stop and frisk relies less on that, though, than simply on profiling. Tats, dress, colors, baggy pants down to the knees, etc., or hanging around a particular street corner every day. The police want the power to be able to walk up to such persons to question them, and to pat search them (“Terry stop”) for weapons for “officer safety.” As such, stop and frisk relies on unconstitutional profiling to a large extent, but the lines are so thin from legal to illegal activity that cases such as this arise.

      One thing that should be clear, but is not, is that if an officer discovers a concealed weapon but the carrier produces a valid permit, the interaction should cease.

  31. avatar former water walker says:

    EFF NO! Frankly I’m surprised more cops don’t get shot with this Gestapo BS…

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      Anyone who shoots a cop has a death wish. That’s why it doesn’t happen more often.
      NYC has a police force that is 35,000 strong–and if you shoot one of “theirs,” every cop in the city will be the one who wants the privilege and glory of shooting you dead. It is pretty much the same everywhere else.

      1. avatar Roymond says:

        Cops tend to react like members of a bronze age tribe when one of theirs is hurt. Civilized behavior, human rights and dignity, and the law are seen as restraints to be ignored when the tribe ‘must’ act.

        I’m not even convinced that cops wouldn’t react that way if the officer shot happened to be in the process of raping a minor.

  32. avatar IdahoBoy says:

    Being a white adult law abiding male in a relatively peaceful part of the country, I will probably never be stopped and frisked, so I will try to take that into account when I voice my opinion.

    I think that police should be able to approach someone in a friendly manner and inquire about their intentions under any circumstances. Just because someone has been staring at a bank for five minutes does not mean they are going to rob it. Maybe they’re just summoning their courage prior to a job interview.

    But a policeman’s ability to gather information should be limited to whatever information the individual volunteers, and what is in plain view, even is the person is suspected of a minor infraction.

    The sticky part happens if the subject resists the inquiry, and they are not suspected of anything. Some police believe that being rude to a cop, or worse yet, running, is grounds for arrest. They are wrong. Being rude to a cop, even obscenely rude, is covered by the First Amendment, and while running can certainly be considered along with other factors as contributing to probable cause, it does not in and of itself constitute probable cause.

    So if being rude is not probable cause, and running is not probable cause, I don’t see how stopping someone and frisking them in hopes of “finding” probable cause could be justifiable.

  33. avatar Andrew Lias says:

    With the way that even the slightest inch of rights are abused (look at knife stops in NYC and how many people get railroaded there) I say give the police the shortest leash possible.

  34. avatar Chris Morton says:

    “if you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about”

    Funny how when cops get in trouble, they never apply this to THEMSELVES or each other.

    If a cop stops me for no reason, he’s going to get this, and this ONLY:

    1. Notification, IF AND ONLY IF I’m armed.
    2. Name and address if demanded.
    3. “Am I free to leave?”
    4. If the answer to 3 is “no”, “I have nothing to say without benefit of counsel.”

    Given that cops are specifically allowed to lie during investigations, and routinely lie, including under oath, I’d be a fool to trust any “reason” they give for a stop that’s not facially obvious.

    I gain NOTHING from trusting the police, and stand to lose a lot. Ask Richard Jewell… if you know how to conduct a seance.

    If cops want to act like a hostile army of occupation, they should expect to be treated like one.

    Contrary to the apparent beliefs of many of them, this isn’t 1914, this isn’t Belgium, and they aren’t the Kaiser’s army.

    1. avatar IdahoBoy says:

      Richard Jewell is proof that no good deed goes unpunished. That man saved a lot of lives, and was crucified by the public in return.

      1. avatar Chris Morton says:

        He was crucified alright, but by the FBI.

        1. avatar Rusty Chains says:

          The FBI and the Atlanta Journal Constitution who settled out of court for a significant amount of money.

  35. avatar FedUp says:

    It’s not just a case of a cop seeing a gun and searching the possessor, but a ‘civilian’ report of a ‘man with a gun’ isn’t far off that point:
    https://cases.justia.com/pennsylvania/superior-court/2017-510-eda-2016.pdf?ts=1490822480

    On June 28, 2014, at approximately 2:30 [a.m.], members of the Allentown Police Department were dispatched to the Pace Mart located at 640 N. 7th Street in Allentown, Pennsylvania[,] for a male with a firearm. The male, later identified as … [Hicks], was observed with the firearm by a city camera operator.

    The camera operator advised officers that [Hicks] showed the firearm to another patron, put the firearm in his waistband, covered it with his shirt, and walked inside the Pace Mart. [Hicks] eventually got back into his vehicle and began to drive away. Based on the information provided, police stopped [Hicks’s] vehicle.

    Officer Ryan Alles approached [Hicks] and observed him moving his hands to his waistband. As such,
    1See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 3802(b).J-S95043-16-2-
    [Officer] Alles drew his weapon and ordered [Hicks] to keep his hands up. Officer Kyle Pammer [(“Officer Pammer”)] held [Hicks’s] arms while [Officer] Alles removed the firearm from a holster on [Hicks’s] person, [Hicks] was removed from the vehicle for safety reasons and handcuffed. Officers smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from [Hicks]. During a search of [Hicks’s] person, a small bag of green leafy vegetable matter was found in [Hicks’s] pocket. The substance field tested positive for
    marijuana….

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      Hicks is appealing, which means that the courts that looked at it so far think it’s perfectly reasonable to stop a car because somebody said the driver had a gun and done nothing offensive with it.

    2. avatar TX_Lawyer says:

      “Officers smelled the odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from [the defendant].” – That happened to a client of mine. He was arrested for dwi. His blood alcohol count was 0.00.

  36. avatar Jonathan-Houston says:

    There’s nothing inherently suspicious about open carrying, in terms of probability of having committed a crime. Stop and harrass, regardless whether effective, violates one’s civil rights.

    There isn’t even probable cause that any crime has been committed, let alone that the given carrier is guilty. It’s just a means for the state to hassle people into foregoing the exercise of their rights and to intimidate others from even considering it.

  37. avatar Mark H says:

    Clearly Illegal and Unconstitutional: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

  38. avatar Igor says:

    NOOOOOOO

  39. avatar Maxi says:

    You are innocent until prooven guilty. Any evidence found by illegal searches is null in front of the court. Shouldn’t matter if they searched your house or your person or your backpack without justification. Get a warrant or get out.
    Of course they should search suspicious people. But for acting in a suspicious way, not for carrying a gun or whatever else. Reasonable cause to believe that they might be selling drugs because of the way they interact with other people. It’s not like they can’t search people, they just have to show a good reason why they did so. I think that is called justice. Pretty rare these days, but still a nice thing to have.

  40. avatar tiger says:

    Answer? No…. Many Cons. Few Pros.

  41. avatar ButtHurtz says:

    Anyone that harasses family/friends/ myself without good reason (including government agents) will likely end up shot.

  42. avatar JW says:

    Unless there is a valid reason to suspect that I am breaking the law, NO.

    …and no, living in a particular neighborhood, having a particular style of dress or skin tone, or bearing arms in accordance with the constitution do not count as valid reasons by themselves.

  43. avatar Fallschirmjäger says:

    We went through this in Georgia and the result was a new portion of the Georgia Code: O.C.G.A. 16-11-137:

    (a) Every license holder shall have his or her valid weapons carry license in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, or if such person is exempt from having a weapons carry license pursuant to Code Section 16-11-130 or subsection (c) of Code Section 16-11-127.1, he or she shall have proof of his or her exemption in his or her immediate possession at all times when carrying a weapon, and his or her failure to do so shall be prima-facie evidence of a violation of the applicable provision of Code Sections 16-11-126 through 16-11-127.2.

    (b) A person carrying a weapon shall not be subject to detention for the sole purpose of investigating whether such person has a weapons carry license.

    (c) A person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall be fined not more than $10.00 if he or she produces in court his or her weapons carry license, provided that it was valid at the time of his or her arrest, or produces proof of his or her exemption.

    The police are prohibited from stopping someone solely to verify a license and the penalty for forgetting your license because you were in a hurry is not the same as the penalty for forgetting your driving license – a $10 slap on the wrist

  44. avatar skiff says:

    British police state philosophy: if you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about.

    RI vs Scott Hornoff. During a murder investigation, Mr. Hornoff voluntarily agreed to be interviewed by the Rhode Island State Police without the benefit of counsel. His lawyer told him it was ok to do this. After a jury trial, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and spent about 8 years in prison. The actual murderer came forward and confessed. The murderer waited until his mother passed away.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      “British police state philosophy: if you haven’t done anything wrong you have nothing to worry about. ”

      And the fine print: we make sure there are enough laws that you’ve always done something wrong.

  45. avatar Chip in Florida says:

    Stop and frisk is a big NO from me.

    There may be certain benefits that can be demonstrated by the practice but I could demonstrate similar benefits from violating a whole bunch of other enumerated rights if you give me a minute or two.

    Demonstrating a possible benefit does not justify violating the right.

    Ever.

  46. avatar GS650G says:

    Everyone feels it’s wrong and unconstitutional to search people but they want scumbags off the streets. Do the same people want the Ferguson effect in high crime areas?

  47. avatar Cam says:

    So the question boils down to , do the police have the right to search you because you are doing nothing illegal?
    The answer is no!

  48. avatar IAmNotTheHulk says:

    No. Unless I am considered a suspect of a crime and placed under arrest, do not presume to think touching me wont get you ventilated. Its a bad program for enabling lazy policing and just makes the general population distrust and fear the police all that much more. Its a shakedown, lets not mince words.

  49. avatar Brad says:

    No, 100% no. NO! That’s a slippery slope that goes in a bad direction for everyone.

  50. avatar greg71 says:

    Most people commenting here do not know what a proper stop-and-frisk looks like. They simply are responding to caricatures and reacting with unnecessary bravado.

    S&F is NOT when a police officer approaches someone to ask questions. That’s a consensual encounter and the person approached is free to terminate the encounter and walk away at any point.

    S&F is NOT when police stop someone and search them without any individualized suspicion that the person has or is about to commit a crime. Unless this occurs in a special circumstance (e.g., airport), it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to stop and search without any suspicion of a crime.

    S&F is NOT when police arrest a person and conduct a search incident to arrest.

    A constitutional STOP occurs when police BRIEFLY detain a person for whom they have a reasonable suspicion has committed or is about to commit a crime and make inquiries to dispel or confirm that suspicion. It requires specific, articulable facts that give rise to such a suspicion, not a mere hunch. If the person is detained more than briefly, it becomes an arrest, for which the police must have probable cause.

    A constitutional FRISK occurs when the police have reasonable suspicion, based on specific articulable facts, that a person is armed and dangerous (to police or to others). The police may pat down the person’s outer clothing only to determine whether the person is carrying a weapon. Again, for it to be constitutional under the Fourth Amendment, it must be based on individualized suspicion and not a hunch or random search.

    What the PA Supreme Court will be deciding is whether the mere possession of a firearm, even lawfully, makes a person presumptively dangerous and subject to the pat down.

    The federal Fourth Circuit decided almost a year ago in United States v. Robinson that merely having a weapon makes a person “armed and dangerous” and subject to a stop-and-frisk. This was an ominous ruling for lawful carriers of firearms, but you can thank the “law and order” Republican-appointed judges who voted with several Democrat-appointed colleagues to render this awful decision.

  51. avatar Sick of snowflakes says:

    If you support stop and frisk, you clearly don’t live in an anti-gun, highly populated, city of the first cl(ass).

    Philadelphia cops will abuse this for any law abiding carrying citizen with an LTCF. Not all Philly cops will, but regardless, it will be done. The search of people with known records is not what is in question here. This will inconvenience law abiding gun carriers so badly that they will probably choose not to carry. I’m white, so I may not be affected too much. I personally know a few black guys who legally carry and they are terrified of a cop seeing their gun print, because they are aware of what can happen regardless of their compliance. This would allow those cops the legal right to basically profile them because of minor printing. This would create a big scene and cause tensions to rise, this is a recipe for disaster.

    In a perfect world, this could be used to identify bad guys, if we lived in that perfect world (bubble) then we wouldn’t be worried about carrying and we could join the snowflakes in thinking that everything will be ok.

    If you live out in the middle of nowhere PA, this will not affect you so please stop supporting it.

  52. avatar Mel says:

    It’s called The Fourth Ammendment! Read it.

    You can’t just cherry pick what you like from the Bill of a Rights.

  53. avatar J Will says:

    This question has already been answered by SCOTUS. Black v US said “A lawful activity, legally engaged in, does not constitute ‘reasonable suspicion’ for an ‘investigative detention’.”

    Black v US was a firearm case.

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