Stop, Question, Frisk
The last few years the stop and frisk policies of the NYPD have come under
much scrutiny. A few years ago the NYPD instituted a "Stop, Question,
Frisk" program that has been challenged by class action suits and
has resulted in several trespassing charges being overturned by appeals courts.
Contact us to schedule your free consultation today.
What is Operation Clean Halls?
Most recently, hearings have been held in New York courts challenging another
stop and frisk program called "operation clean halls" where
landlords can allow officers to police the grounds and halls of their
Plaintiffs say that the officers are so overzealous that even tenants have
to carry identification to go do their laundry. Plaintiffs claim they
will "demonstrate that police officers are unlawfully stopping people
on suspicion of trespassing simply because they happen to be in public
areas near Clean Halls buildings."
Given all of the scrutiny the prosecutor's office in New York have
quietly adopted a new policy aimed at protecting the constitutional rights
of those who may have been stopped unconstitutionally.
Stop and Frisk Law Origin
Stop and frisk law comes from the Fourth Amendment to the United States
Constitution which governs search and seizure law. In order for police
to stop someone the officer must have reasonable articulable suspicion
to suspect criminal activity, once they have suspicion they can stop someone
We do see reasonable suspicion vary case by case, for example reasonable
suspicion can be based on things such as facts seen and interpreted by
police in light of training and experience; a profile, such as a drug
courier or gang member profiles; and unprovoked flight. But reasonable
suspicion to stop does not give the officer a right to search the person
who has been stopped.
For a frisk, reasonable suspicion must justify the stop, and that the suspect
is armed and dangerous. The government must show two reasonable suspicion
types for a frisk. Meaning they must show reasonable suspicion of criminal
activity in order to justify the stop and they must show reasonable suspicion
that the individual may be armed and dangerous. Only then can the office
search the suspect.
Change to the Law
Stop and frisk law in Tennessee has recently changed. This past May the
Tennessee Supreme Court issued an opinion limiting the reasonable suspicion
for officers. The opinion held that police must corroborate anonymous
tips before officers can stop and frisk someone. Meaning that anonymous
tips can no longer be the only thing that gives the officers reasonable
suspicion. The court ruled that such tips must be corroborated with specific
facts before the officer can justify a stop.
If you have been charged with a crime as a result of a stop and frisk there
could be facts which invalidate the reason for the stop or the reason
for the search. Only an experienced defense attorney can help you bring
those specific facts to the forefront. Please feel free to
contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at The Bowlin Law Firm to discuss
the facts of your specific case today.