The Importance Of Tortion In The Terry Case

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Initially the Court was in agreement that the stop and subsequent arrest in the Terry case was appropriate on the basis of the “probable cause” standard. Barrett (1998) states, Chief Justice Warren had initially approached this decision on the basis that the stop in the Terry case was appropriate. It was Justice Brennan who eventually persuaded Chief Justice Warren to render a decision which put forth the new “reasonable suspicion” standard (Barrett, 1998, 793-821). If Chief Justice Warren had maintained his original inclination of rendering a decision which clearly delineated the standards that a police officer must follow before a search is conducted there would be no controversy over this issue. However, had this actually occurred then …show more content…
Two police officers responding to several complaints about a vague description of a gang of youths fighting in the general area spotted him walking home and stopped their vehicle. Upon stopping their car they immediately grabbed Almonor by the arm and bent him over the hood of the car. They then proceeded to handcuff Almonor and frisk him. In finding that Almonor’s fourth amendment rights had been violated Judge Scheindlin stated that “…the officers made no effort to minimize the intrusion on his liberty. Instead, they used the most intrusive methods at their disposal, thereby exacerbating the violation of his rights.” Floyd et. al. (S.D.N.Y. 2013) at …show more content…
In both cases the officers had a vague suspicion to believe that the individual may be involved in or may have recently been involved in criminal activity. The officers in both these cases approached the alleged suspects stopped them and immediately frisked them. In both cases there was a stop and a frisk. There was no question. The Terry Court described the three detailed requirements an officer must meet to comply with a Terry Stop otherwise known as stop-question-frisk. The officers in both of these cases failed to meet these standards and a federal court judge had to point out their mistakes. In the case of Downs no arrest was ever made so there was no preclusion of evidence. In the case of Almonor since he was only 13 years old there was no charge for disorderly conduct instead he was released into the custody of his parents. These two cases are the exact situation that Professor Anthony Amsterdam was referring to when he requested the right to argue before the Terry Court on behalf of the NAACP stating “that its argument will be on behalf of a usually voiceless majority-those individuals who are illegally stopped and frisked by police and then let go because nothing incriminating is discovered” (Barrett, 1998, p.

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