Stop and Account, Stop and Search, and Racial Disparities

For U.S. readers, the title of this post may not seem quite right. You’ve heard of stops, based on either reasonable suspicion or probable cause, and frisks for weapons following a stop. You know about racial disparities in criminal justice data. But, what’s stop and account? Stop and search? And, how do they differ from stops and frisks? As I’m in London for the fall, the answer is pretty obvious that these terms refer to police authority in the UK. What may be less obvious is how this authority resembles the stopping powers of law enforcement officers in the US.

Read more

Fourth Circuit Sets Out Authority to Frisk When a State’s Law Permits Possession of Concealed Firearm

The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, on a rehearing of a case en banc, held in United States v. Robinson, 2017 WL 280727 (Jan. 23, 2017), that an officer had the authority to conduct a frisk of a lawfully-stopped person whom the officer reasonably believed to be armed with a concealed firearm, regardless of whether the person may have been legally entitled to carry the firearm. This post discusses the ruling and its possible influence in the development of the law of frisk in North Carolina state courts. [For those who received my summary of this case as a subscriber to the criminal law listserv, this is the same summary but with the addition of an analysis and comment section at the end of this post.]

Read more

Empty Your Pockets

Can a police officer order a suspect to empty his or her pockets during a Terry stop? The New York Times reports on claims that New York officers do so regularly: Critics say that as part of the Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy, officers routinely tell suspects to empty their pockets and then, if marijuana is … Read more

Terry Frisk During a Consensual Encounter?

Note about holiday blogging schedule: Because I am certain that all of you are planning your holidays around this blog, I thought I’d mention that I’ll continue to post daily through the holidays, except for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Today’s post: The North Carolina Supreme Court recently … Read more