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Old 04-24-2018, 04:08 PM
k9bfriender k9bfriender is offline
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 10,150
Originally Posted by Bone View Post
It may seem that a cop can stop someone for whatever reason, but that's not true. People excluded from Terry searches are those that an officer does not have reasonable suspicion that they are involved in criminal activity. From the wiki:

Reasonable suspicion must be more than an "inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or 'hunch". When you say easy enough to justify after the fact, you are saying the officer will lie somehow. If we are assuming lying then no standard is sufficient since the officer will simply lie - I don't think that's a fair assumption to make.
There are different types of lies.

There are lies that we believe when we tell them.

There are lies that we make ourselves believe when we tell them.

There are lies that we know are untrue, but are unprovable.

And there are lies that are provable to be lies.

Most of the time I suspect a cop is lying is one of those first three, not the last. But the more latitude that they are given, the more stuff can move from the fourth to the third.

For instance, consider the difference between the statements, "I saw him with a gun in his hand." vs "I thought I saw him with a gun in his hand."

Either is grounds for a terry stop, but only the former is a fact that can be proven or disproven. That terry stops can be made on the latter is where the potential for abuse comes in, IMHO.

Now, as far as lying cops go, sure, if they are willing to lie, then you are screwed, but you may be lucky, and they may accidently leave their body cameras on while they are talking about planning on lying about having probable cause.

Same as when they plan evidence on you, or rape you. It's your word against theirs, and your word will never be believed against theirs, even if they have been caught lying before, unless somehow it managed to get on tape to contradict them. It's a small chance, but it's a chance.


So no, it is not permission to search everyone. "Am I being detained? Am I free to go?" Those questions will delineate between when someone is seized and subject to a Terry patdown and when an officer is simply asking questions they are free to do to anyone.
It should be on the officers to inform those who they encounter of their rights, rather than it being an obligation of the citizen who is being accosted by law enforcement to know how to navigate the legal system during a time in which they may not be at their best academic performance.

The officer should be the one indicating what the status of the person they are interacting with, not having the citizen have to play a guessing game to try to find out what their status is.

It allows a Terry search which is a pat down. It's not a full search. But you are correct, Terry allows pat down type searches on the basis of reasonable suspicion. A full search requires probable cause which is the same standard for arrest.