No Heroes, No Villains Essay example

1172 Words Apr 18th, 2013 5 Pages
No heroes, no villains
Shelby DiRoma
Monroe Community College

No heroes, no villains
On June 28, 1972, James Richardson awaiting the subway train which would take him to work. He was stopped and ordered to “put up your hands, and get against the wall”. These directions were given by an off duty Transit Authority patrolman named John Skagen. Skagen’s actions seem unprovoked and unnecessary. After a short tussle the two men exchanged shots and Richardson fled the scene on foot. Two other officers that were on the main street above the subway station were made aware of what was transpiring below and rushed to the scene. As they approached the entrance of the station, Richardson who was fleeing the scene ran directly into one of the
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No Heroes, No Villains relates in many ways to chapter seven- Police and the Constitution: Rules of Law Enforcement in our Criminal Justice book. There were many instances in the book that correlates with the key concepts of this chapter. The fourth amendment plays a major role in No Heroes, No Villains. It seemed that in the book John Skagen had no probable cause in the stop and frisk of James Richardson. I read no evidence that Skagen had determined a totality of circumstances which would prohibit the stop and frisk. We learned in class that there must be probable cause that can be sustained by four major sources. These sources are outlined as personal observation, of which could not have been the case due to the clothing Richardson was wear at the time of the stop. It was noted that Richardson was wearing a dashiki style green shirt that could easily conceal the pistal in his waistband. The second sources is outlined as information and belief. This was not the case here either. Since Skagen was not from the particular area the incident took place nor had he worked in the area, Skagen had no prior interaction with Richardson thus proving again that there was no reason for the stop. Skagen also lacked evidence and association as means of probable cause. In my interpretation of the evidence presented in court I found nothing that supported any of these four criteria. Skagen’s actions

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