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Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
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Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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This is a scenario for a class and i have to write a 3 page

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This is a scenario for a class and i have to write a 3 page paper on it. Officer Smith is on routine patrol in the small town of Hickory Falls. While on patrol, Officer Smith observes a vehicle, a brown pick-up, which he had never seen before driving through the town. Officer Smith decides to follow this vehicle even though the vehicle had not committed any traffic offenses. After following the vehicle for approximately five minutes, the driver of the vehicle pulled over and parked at a grocery store. Officer Smith parked his squad car and approached the driver, George Radley. Officer Smith asked Radley if he could talk to him and Radley agreed. Officer Smith then questioned Radley for approximately five minutes about who he was, why he was in Hickory Falls and how long he was planning on staying in the town. I have to write weather or not this is legal. Im thinking this would be against civil rights or profiling b/c the guy didnt do any wrong. Is this allowed or no?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Your position has merit if you defend it well, but basically, there's no right answer. How well you'll do with this assignment will depend upon what examples you use to support your points.

The US Supreme Court has ruled that determinations of constitutional improprieties get made on a case-by-case basis, at pre-trial hearings designed to suppress evidence improperly obtained. The standard that judges use at these hearings is what's reasonable for a police officer to do under all of the circumstances.

So if Officer Smith has some particular reason to be concerned about an out-of-towner, the incident could be completely lawful. If, on the other hand, he was rousting him for no real reason and just on some kind of a "fishing expedition, he could "certainly be harassing and/or profiling in violation of Radley's rights.

___________

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your State for specific legal advice.




Customer: replied 4 years ago.
ok there is more to the story maybe this will help. Sticking out from under the front seat was a pair of rubber gloves, a glass cutter, a screw driver and a hammer. Officer Smith returned to his squad car and checked to see if George Radley had any active warrants. Officer Smith also asked the dispatcher to see if any of the neighboring towns had reported any burglaries. As this was being done, George Radley exited the store and got into his pick-up and drove away with Officer Smith following again. A short time later, the dispatcher radioed to Officer Smith that there were three residential burglaries reported within the last ten days in the neighboring town and in every break-in, a class cutter had been used to make entry. Officer Smith also learned that one of the homeowners caught a glimpse of the burglar as he was running from the house but did not see the burglar get into a vehicle. Upon learning this information, Officer Smith activated his emergency lights and stopped the pick-up truck. Officer Smith ordered Radley to turn of the vehicle and to exit the vehicle. Radley then became very agitated with the Officer and stated that he had to go as he was late for an appointment. Officer Smith told Radley that he was not free to go at this time. Officer Smith then conducted a pat-down search for weapons and then placed handcuffs on Radley since Radley had began swearing at the Officer and waving his arms around. Approximately ten minutes later, the burglarized homeowner from the neighboring town was brought to the scene of the traffic stop to determine if she could identify George Radley as the person that broke into her home. The homeowner stated that Radley was not the individual that had broken into her house. Officer Smith then removed the handcuffs and told Radley that he was now free to go.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

Sorry about the delay. I ate lunch and then took my dogs out for a walk.

This is one of those hypotheticals designed to see how well you understand the Fourth Amendment. You are on safe ground by saying that that the officer has violated Radley's rights, but as you can see, you are going to have to account for bits and pieces within the scenario where the officer would appear to have probable cause to take the next step.

Basically, what you have to do here would be to take a position, (unlawful detention/police harassment), spot the issues and, wherever possible, show the officer's actions to be unreasonable by applying the law you've learned as it relates to each issue. If you can't show that something is unreasonable (such as some of what happens after the officer finds out about the burglaries and stops Radley's) you can always say that it would have been reasonable if that's all that happened but not in the context of all the circumstances.

Again, it's your reasoning and your awareness of the issues and law that will determine how good your paper is rather than the actual answer.

Good luck!

___________

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your State for specific legal advice.




Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17358
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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