Case Study Analysis
CJ227: Criminal Procedure
Officer Smith did have reasonable suspicion to make the initial vehicle stop. The taillight appeared to have been broken and there was colored tape so there was probable cause to pull the driver over. Police Officers may pull a vehicle over for many reasons like traffic violations, equipment violations and even suspicious activity whenever they have a reasonable articulable suspicion that a public offense is occurring or has occurred. When approaching the driver Officer Smith recalled that a vehicle similar to the one he had stopped may have been used in a crime resulting in the death of a police officer. This gave Officer Smith reasonable suspicion to believe that a crime there may have been some criminal activity involving the vehicle, the driver or both. The 1968 case was Terry v. Ohio (392 U.S. 1) deemed that an officer may pat down a person for weapons only if the officer has the additional reasonable suspicion that the pat down is necessary for safety reasons. Since a vehicle similar to the vehicle that Officer Smith had stopped is suspected of being involved in an officer’s death where a weapon was involved. Officer Smith was justified in his actions of having the subject step out of the vehicle for a pat down search. Officer Smith did not locate a weapon during the pat down but he still had reasonable suspicion to believe that the vehicle or the driver may have been involved in the murder of a police officer and reasonable suspicion that there may be a weapon inside the vehicle but because he did not locate a weapon during the pat down search he did not have probable cause to search the vehicle so he proceeded with his traffic stop. Officer Smith then asks the driver for identification and the registration to the vehicle and then the driver takes off engaging Officer Smith in a pursuit. There were exigent circumstances for Officer Smith giving pursuit. The driver fleeing reaffirmed his earlier...
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