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More on Reasonable Articulable Suspicion

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  • Legalbear
    Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (01/12/2000) http://laws.findlaw.com/us/528/119.html Nervous, evasive behavior is another pertinent factor in determining
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2003
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      Illinois v. Wardlow, 528 U.S. 119 (01/12/2000)


      http://laws.findlaw.com/us/528/119.html

      Nervous, evasive behavior is another pertinent
      factor in determining
      reasonable suspicion, e.g., United States v.
      Brignoni-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873,
      885, and headlong flight is the consummate act of
      evasion.

      This case, involving a brief encounter between
      a citizen and a police
      officer on a public street, is governed by the
      analysis we first applied in Terry.
      In Terry, we held that an officer may, consistent with
      the Fourth Amendment,
      conduct a brief, investigatory stop when the officer
      has a reasonable,
      articulable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot.
      Terry, supra, at 30. While
      "reasonable suspicion" is a less demanding standard
      than probable cause and
      requires a showing considerably less than
      preponderance of the evidence, the
      Fourth Amendment requires at least a minimal level of
      objective justification
      for making the stop. United States v. Sokolow, 490
      U.S. 1, 7 (1989). The
      officer must be able to articulate more than an
      "inchoate and unparticularized
      suspicion or `hunch' " of criminal activity. Terry ,
      supra, at 27.(2)

      Such a holding is entirely consistent with our
      decision in Florida v.
      Royer, 460 U.S. 491 (1983), where we held that when an
      officer, without
      reasonable suspicion or probable cause, approaches an
      individual, the
      individual has a right to ignore the police and go
      about his business. Id ., at
      498. And any "refusal to cooperate, without more, does
      not furnish the
      minimal level of objective justification needed for a
      detention or seizure."
      Florida v. Bostick, 501 U.S. 429, 437 (1991). But
      unprovoked flight is simply
      not a mere refusal to cooperate. Flight, by its very
      nature, is not "going about
      one's business"; in fact, it is just the opposite.
      Allowing officers confronted
      with such flight to stop the fugitive and investigate
      further is quite consistent
      with the individual's right to go about his business
      or to stay put and remain
      silent in the face of police questioning.

      Cf. Fatetur facinus qui judicium fugit. He who
      flees judgment confesses
      his guilt.



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