Although the citizens of the United States enjoy living in a free nation built under the written amendments of the Constitution, many believe that their rights are not being upheld to the fullest capacity in Oregon or in many other states across the country. Illegal stop and frisk maneuvers have gained attention in the media over the past five years, as several police departments across the nation are being scrutinized for their unlawful search and seizure procedures. In some cases, the federal government has stepped in to declare certain state stop and frisk policies unconstitutional.
Recently, a New York City police officer pled guilty to an unlawful stop and frisk of a middle-aged father in Brooklyn two years ago. The officer stopped the man after witnessing him walk rather quickly in and then out of a building. When questioned, the man reported that he was in a hurry to pick up his son from school and ran into his apartment to get his umbrella. The officer then asked to run his identification for prior warrants, and when the man protested he was frisked. He was then charged with disorderly conduct.
Almost a dozen citizens in Miami are protesting against an ambush of illegal stop and frisks by the Miami Gardens Police Department that seem to target racial minorities. Surveillance cameras were installed to capture these incidents. City officials have since launched an investigation on the issue.
Unfortunately, these cases aren't isolated incidents. Many others exist in various states across the country. Local and federal legislators are working to pass various bills that will help to prevent these situations from happening to innocent people.
Police officers who have reason to believe that a person is armed or may cause harm to another person may stop and search the person for any illegal weapons, and confiscate those weapons. Many cities across the nation have targeted various races when frisking, stating that most crime takes place in communities with a high Hispanic and African American population. According to the Center for Constitutional Rights, 52 percent of those stopped were African American and 31 percent were Hispanic in origin. In November, a federal appeals court ruled that New York's stop and frisk policy unconstitutional.
Oregon police officers must have a valid and clear reason for stopping and frisking an individual. Whether the officers recognizes a dangerous or deadly weapon on the person, or has a definite reason to suspect that lives are in danger, they may stop and frisk the individual. Under Oregon law, the officers are also given the right to take any weapons they deem harmful to the public.
If you have fallen victim to an illegal stop and frisk maneuver, it is critical that you phone a reliable and experienced criminal law attorney in Washington County. Take back your rights and help to make sure the same injustice doesn't happen to others.
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