Daigle Law Group
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Special Need Exception to Reasonable Suspicion
In past articles, involving Terry Stops we have discussed the need for “Reasonable Suspicion” and the requirement that the officers have a “particularized suspicion” with respect to the defendant. So how, then, are we able to address a situation where officers hear and receive complaints of shots fired in an area and respond to find several people walking away? Officers may not have a “particularized suspicion” with respect to any single member of the group so would it be reasonable under the 4th Amendment for officers to stop the whole group? Let’s take a look at the facts in United States vs. Curry and see what the 4th Circuit had to say.
This week we look at a traffic stop case, United States v. Gurule, that touches on a number of issues – requiring passengers to exit the vehicle during the stop, consent to search, and frisking the passenger during a consent search. I often say that the success or failure of a case is often determined based on a matter of seconds and the quality of the officer’s report or testimony. I think you will see those issues play out in today’s case.
It is not unusual for us to review car stop cases. As I have said more than once, car stops are the bread and butter of good police work. But what happens in those cases where officers conduct a legitimate car stop based on mistaken information? Fortunately, as we see in this case, the courts understand that in the fast-paced business of policing there may be situations where an officer makes an honest mistake or misreads information off the “hot sheet”.
The use of explosive breaching is like every tool in the SWAT commander’s toolbox. We would hope that any agency using or contemplating the use of this tool would take the time to address the important policy and training issues before going live. This article will review two recent court cases that involved explosive breaching tactics by SWAT teams.