Terry Vs Ohio Court Case Essay

838 words - 4 pages

In October of 1963, a police officer was patrolling a downtown street in Cleveland, Ohio, which he had been patrolling for many years. He observed two strangers walking back and forth to stop and stare in the same window. They did this several times when suddenly a third man appeared. They all followed the same route and continued to look in the store’s windows. The police officer became very suspicious after watching these three men for awhile. He began to believe the men were up to committing a robbery and feared that they were armed. The officer approached the three men and identified himself as a police officer. He asked the men their names and they answered with a mumble. The ...view middle of the document...

The constitutional amendment that made this controversial was the fourth amendment. The fourth amendment states “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.” The police officer searched Terry without a warrant which led to the Supreme Court’s decision on whether this was a violation of Terry’s rights or not. The fourth amendment shows that Terry has the right to be secure against unreasonable searches. The officer’s argument was that he had enough experience in the police force to suspect the three men’s actions. The police officer only used his best judgment on his suspicion and searched the men with no warrant.

The Terry vs. Ohio case brought about the issue of police officer’s invading the rights of citizens without a probable cause. Police officer’s now have the right to search a person without a probable cause or without a warrant. This is only if the police officer can justify their suspicion of the person being armed. Also if an officer feels anything while patting down the individual, it can be used as a probable cause and can...

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