Analysis & Application
Unit 2 Paper
1. Did Officer Smith have reasonable suspicion to make the initial stop of this vehicle? Reasonable suspicion is based on the understanding of circumstances of a person experienced in the field of criminal law. Another way of putting it is a criminal justice professional acting on more than a hunch but less than probable cause [ (quiz law) ]. Based on the definition of reasonable suspicion, Officer Smith did in fact have reasonable suspicion to make an initial stop of the vehicle because not only was a tail light broken which is a traffic law violation but the vehicle matched a general description of the vehicle that was suspected in the roadside killing of another Police Officer. 2. Was the “pat-down” of the driver legal?
A “Pat Down” is a quick search of a person’s being in order to determine if any weapons are present. A “Pat Down” is necessary to ensure the safety of the law enforcement agent and other civilians [ (Kiefer, 2009) ]. According to the case Arizona V. Johnson Officer Smith’s pat down of the driver was legal. Since the description of the car was the same as car used to kill other officer, Officer Smith had reason to fear for his life, therefore had the right to check or weapons. 3. Did exigent circumstances exist for Officer Smith to give chase to this vehicle? Exigent Circumstances means emergency conditions. Circumstances that would cause a reasonable person to believe that any relevant prompt action was necessary to prevent physical harm to the officers or civilians, the destruction of relevant evidence, the escape of a suspect, or some other consequence improperly frustrating legitimate law enforcement efforts (The lectric law library, 1995-2011). According to cased United States V. McConney (United States V. McConney, 1984), Exigent circumstances did exist for Officer Smith to Chase the vehicle in question because the...
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