Reasonable Suspicious Essay

1066 words - 5 pages

Being suspicious about someone is not necessarily bad for police officers, as long as you have a reason to suspect. For example, have you ever seen a person that you have never seen before, walk by your neighborhood? Law enforcement officers patrol the streets making sure there isn’t anything suspicious going on. There have been cases were the police have been accused of stopping people over for no reason. Some say they were racially profiled. Whatever the case is, police have to have reasonable suspicion to stop someone.
The term reasonable suspicion is a lesser standard than probable cause. It is a general belief that a crime is occurring, or has occurred. Reasonable suspicion can’t be only a hunch. It has to be based on the facts at hand and the reasoning from those facts that will lead someone else under the same circumstances to believe that a crime has occurred. The standard reasonable suspicion only allows law enforcement to temporarily detain, question, and frisk. It does not allow officers to search or seize because that will require probable cause. Probable cause is a set of facts and circumstances that would lead someone to believe that someone else has committed a specific crime. Probable cause is the next level of belief in order to arrest, search, and charge someone of a crime. Racial profiling, a controversial issue, has become a common problem in the police field. Some have said that they were stopped for being black, or Hispanic. Racial profile is a different problem; reasonable suspicion can’t be based on merely race, or ethnicity. For example, in my personal experience, I usually think anybody that is out late is suspicious. If I see someone walking by the neighborhood at night, I just observe what they are doing and where they are going. The first thing that comes to my head is, “there probably up to no good.” Like I explained earlier, reasonable suspicion has to be drawn from the facts that someone is committing a crime or has committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion can’t be a hunch to stop someone over, but still there have been cases where police have been accused of not having.
Cases like Terry v. Ohio show how difficult it is to show reasonable suspicion. In the Terry v. Ohio case, a police officer observed three men on a corner street and suspected they were about to commit a crime. The officer stopped them and conducted a frisk for any weapons and found weapons on two of the three men. The issue in this case was, did the search violated Terry’s fourth amendment right? Well the answer is no. The officer did not have probable cause to search, but he did have reasonable suspicion. As mentioned earlier, reasonable suspicion allows officers to temporarily detain, question, and frisk. Basically, in this case they argued if there was any probable cause for the search, but when it comes to the officer’s safety the officer can frisk the suspect for any weapons. Another example, Reid v. Georgia...

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