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According to Terry v. Ohio, Officer Smith had reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. She saw what looked like a broken taillight, and the car also fit the description of a car used in a recent killing of a police officer. The 1968 case, Terry v. Ohio, developed the concept of “stop and frisk”. Stop and frisk is less than an arrest. It is the temporary detention of a suspicious person in public places for the purposes of questioning them or conducting an investigation (Roberson 81). Officer Smith had a job to do, and in the process, made sure she would be safe.
Routine traffic stops are the most dangerous things an officer has to do. Anything can happen as a result of stopping a vehicle. Law enforcement officers must apply knowledge, skills, and abilities to make a variety of decisions regarding the mechanics of initiating and conducting vehicle stops (2011, 06). Officer Smith performed a “pat down” search of the driver, which was totally legal. It is the ‘frisk’ portion of the “stop and frisk” law. Officer Smith made sure the driver did not have a weapon of any kind. This ensured the safety of the officer. After the driver was given permission to return to her seat in the vehicle, she sped away. Officer Smith followed in pursuit of the fleeing suspect in an attempt to stop her. Did the officer have exigent circumstances to give chase to the vehicle? Yes. The driver, now suspect, acted in suspicion. It is essential that officers know what makes a situation “exigent” and what they may do in response (Exigent Circumstances 1).
Officer Smith had no choice but to follow in pursuit. It was obvious the driver was hiding something. When the fleeing…