Terry vs. Ohio

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The issue in Terry v. Ohio was whether a search for weapons without probable cause for arrest is an unreasonable search under the fourth amendment. In other words, is it always unreasonable for a police officer to seize a person and subject him to a limited search unless there is probable cause for an arrest? RULE:

Police conduct under certain circumstances was not favorable to the warrant requirement because the immediate actions of the officer was predicated upon on-the-spot observations were necessary. Before this the fourth amendment did not apply as this is not triggered because this is a minor inconvenience, it is not a seizure of a person, and a frisk does not equal a seizure ANALYSIS:

On October 31, 1963 while on patrol downtown, Cleveland Police Department detective Martin McFadden, saw two men John W. Terry and Richard Chilton, standing on the street corner and acting in a way that felt suspicious to detective McFadden. Detective McFadden observed these two men walking back and forth in front of the same window to a store, constantly looking back and forth. These men did this about five or six times before another man came and had a brief conversation, then left. McFadden believed these individuals were “casing the place out,” so he followed the men a few blocks away and stopped them. He immediately identified himself as a police officer and then began frisking John Terry. Terry was patted down on the outside of his clothing and this is where McFadden felt the pistol is Terry’s overcoat pocket. He tried to remove the gun but was unable too, so he demanded the three men inside where he removed the jacket from Terry and pulled out the gun. He then found another gun that was being held by Richard Chilton. McFadden never went inside any of the clothing of Katz because he did not feel any threatening weapons of any kind. Terry and Chilton were arrested and taking to the police station where they were charged with carrying a concealed...