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by Bahiya Lawrence, Esq.
Some of us have witnessed it, others have experienced it, but most of us should be aware of the infamous stop and frisk or Terry Stop procedure used by many police departments nationwide. The controversial law allows a law enforcement officer to conduct a limited pat-down search of your body.
The stop and frisk procedure originated from the Supreme Court case, Terry v. Ohio in 1968. The procedure is supposedly justified when an officer has established reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion is formed when an officer based on their experience, background, training, and knowledge, combined with articulable facts and circumstances, witnesses conduct which leads them to believe that criminal activity is afoot. The officer can then proceed to frisk (pat-down) the individual if they believe that individual is armed and poses a present and immediate danger. The purpose of the pat-down is to find any contraband/weapons on the individual. Also, the pat-down is supposed to be on the outer-layer of the individuals clothing.