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Thread: AZ Supreme Court rules per se 'Stop & Frisk' illegal -- national implications

  1. #1
    Regular Member Repeater's Avatar
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    Nov 2007
    Richmond, Virginia, USA

    AZ Supreme Court rules per se 'Stop & Frisk' illegal -- national implications

    See the article here:

    AZ Supreme Court bans ‘stop-and-frisk’
    Police cannot frisk someone they stop and question absent some “reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot,’’ the Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday.

    In their unanimous decision affirming the right to carry a gun without interference, the justices rejected arguments by prosecutors that a simple belief someone is armed and dangerous is enough to justify a frisk, even without any evidence of criminal activity. They said the U.S. Constitution dictates otherwise.
    The Court's opinion is here.

    In their analysis, the court expressly rejects the Ninth Circuit's per se rule (for officer safety) and instead reiterated its support of Terry's language.

    The best excerpt, among many, is this:
    ¶20 The State urges us to follow United States v. Orman, 486 F.3d 1170, 1173 (9th Cir. 2007) …

    ¶21 We disagree and conclude that Terry allows a frisk only if two conditions are met: officers must reasonably suspect both that criminal activity is afoot and that the suspect is armed and dangerous. See, e.g., Johnson, 555 U.S. at 326. Because the analysis in Orman ignores one prong of Terry, we disagree with the Ninth Circuit’s reasoning.

    ¶22 We also disagree with the Ninth Circuit’s determination that mere knowledge or suspicion that a person is carrying a firearm satisfies the second prong of Terry, which itself involves a dual inquiry; it requires that a suspect be “armed and presently dangerous.” See Terry, 392 U.S. at 30 (emphasis added); see also Johnson, 555 U.S. at 326–27 (observing that “to proceed from a stop to a frisk, the police officer must reasonably suspect that the person stopped is armed and dangerous”). In a state such as Arizona that freely permits citizens to carry weapons, both visible and concealed, the mere presence of a gun cannot provide reasonable and articulable suspicion that the gun carrier is presently dangerous.
    Importantly, the court ruled that "the mere presence of a gun cannot provide reasonable and articulable suspicion that the gun carrier is presently dangerous."

    The court brought back the critical adverb, "presently" -- what the court has done is declare that mere speculation the person is potentially dangerous, for no reason other than that person is armed, is unconstitutional:
    But when officers consensually engage citizens on the street without having any evidence of wrongdoing, the mere presence of a weapon does not afford officers constitutional permission to search weapons-carrying individuals. To conclude otherwise would potentially subject countless law-abiding persons to patdowns solely for exercising their right to carry a firearm.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    earth's crust
    Officer safety? Get a new job. Or stay away from people you have no intention of arresting.

    I occasionally get visits from cops when I am seeking records at my capitol bldg ... they say "be nicer" and I tell them to piss off as "being super nice" is not a requirement and that the first amendment is a one way street -- I can complain about gov't officials per 1st amend...does not give them the right to complain about me.

  3. #3
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    White Oak Plantation
    Quote Originally Posted by Nightmare View Post
    Beggars the meaning of consensual. In law: Existing, or made, by the mutual consent of two or more parties.
    Careful...there area fair number of folks around here who do not entertain the notion that consensual means it takes two to Tango.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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