Stop and Frisk - 8th Circuit Court of Appeals - June 30, 2016

Cody W. Dowden, Attorney at Law

U.S. v. Roelandt - This was an appeal by the Federal Government seeking to overturn the suppression of evidence granted by the District Court. At issue was whether or not a stop and frisk was unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment. In this case, the only information the officer had before stopping an individual was:

1. he was a known gang member and convicted felon

2. he was walking quickly in a high-crime area

3. he was looking around nervously

4. it was reported 3 months prior by a confidential informant that he had a gun, and

5. a fellow gang member had been shot 1-2 hours earlier

Armed with this information the police stopped him, detained him, and frisked him, ultimately finding a loaded weapon in his hoodie. The 8th Circuit held that the totality of the circumstances dictated that the stop was reasonable and legal under the Fourth Amendment.

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