Following is the case brief for Terry v. Ohio Three men, including Terry defendantwere approached by an officer who had observed their alleged suspicious behavior.
This case presents serious questions concerning the role of the Fourth Amendment in the confrontation on the street between the citizen and the policeman investigating suspicious circumstances. Petitioner Terry was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to the statutorily prescribed term of one to three years in the penitentiary.
At the hearing on the motion to suppress this evidence, Officer McFadden testified that, while he was patrolling in plain clothes in downtown Cleveland at approximately 2: He had never seen the two men before, and he was unable to say precisely what first drew his eye to them.
However, he testified that he had been a policeman for 39 years and a detective for 35, and that he had been assigned to patrol this vicinity of downtown Cleveland for shoplifters and pickpockets for 30 years. He explained that he had developed routine habits of observation over the years, and that he would "stand and watch people or walk and watch people at many intervals of the day.
He saw one of the men leave the other one and walk southwest on Huron Road, past some stores. The man paused for a moment and looked in a store window, then walked on a short distance, turned around and walked back toward the corner, pausing once again to look in the same store window.
He rejoined his companion at the corner, and the two conferred briefly. Then the second man went through the same series of motions, strolling down Huron Road, looking in the same window, walking on a short distance, turning back, peering in the store window again, and returning to confer with the first man at the corner.
The two men repeated this ritual alternately between five and six times apiece -- in all, roughly a dozen trips. At one point, while the two were standing together on the corner, a third man approached them and engaged them briefly in conversation. This man then left the two others and walked west on Euclid Avenue.
Chilton and Terry resumed their measured pacing, peering, and conferring. After this had gone on for 10 to 12 minutes, the two men walked off together, heading west on Euclid Avenue, following the path taken earlier by the third man.
By this time, Officer McFadden had become thoroughly suspicious. He testified that, after observing their elaborately casual and oft-repeated reconnaissance of the store window on Huron Road, he suspected the two men of "casing a job, a stick-up," and that he considered it his duty as a police officer to investigate further.
He added that he feared "they may have a gun. Deciding that the situation was ripe for direct action, Officer McFadden approached the three men, identified [p7] himself as a police officer and asked for their names.
At this point, his knowledge was confined to what he had observed. He was not acquainted with any of the three men by name or by sight, and he had received no information concerning them from any other source.
When the men "mumbled something" in response to his inquiries, Officer McFadden grabbed petitioner Terry, spun him around so that they were facing the other two, with Terry between McFadden and the others, and patted down the outside of his clothing.
In the left breast pocket of Terry's overcoat, Officer McFadden felt a pistol. He reached inside the overcoat pocket, but was unable to remove the gun. At this point, keeping Terry between himself and the others, the officer ordered all three men to enter Zucker's store.
As they went in, he removed Terry's overcoat completely, removed a. Officer McFadden proceeded to pat down the outer clothing of Chilton and the third man, Katz. He discovered another revolver in the outer pocket of Chilton's overcoat, but no weapons were found on Katz.
The officer testified that he only patted the men down to see whether they had weapons, and that he did not put his hands beneath the outer garments of either Terry or Chilton until he felt their guns. So far as appears from the record, he never placed his hands beneath Katz' outer garments.
Officer McFadden seized Chilton's gun, asked the proprietor of the store to call a police wagon, and took all three men to the station, where Chilton and Terry were formally charged with carrying concealed weapons.
On the motion to suppress the guns, the prosecution took the position that they had been seized following a search incident to a lawful arrest.Held. The Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”) held that it is a reasonable search when an officer performs a quick seizure and a limited search for weapons on a person that the officer reasonably believes could be armed.
Terry and two other men were observed by a plain clothes policeman in what the officer believed to be "casing a job, a stick-up." The officer stopped and frisked the three men, and found weapons on two of them. Terry was convicted of carrying a concealed weapon and sentenced to three years in jail.
"Terry v. Ohio." Oyez, 24 Nov. Terry v. Ohio. In Terry v.
Ohio, U.S. 1, 88 S. Ct. , 20 L. Ed. 2d (), the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Held. The Supreme Court of the United States (“Supreme Court”) held that it is a reasonable search when an officer performs a quick seizure and a limited search for weapons on a person that the officer reasonably believes could be armed. The Background of Terry v. Ohio () Martin McFadden, who was a police officer in the State of Ohio’s Cleveland Division, had noticed that two individuals appeared to be acting in a nature perceived as suspicious by McFadden.
Terry v. Ohio, U.S. Supreme Court decision, issued on June 10, , which held that police encounters known as stop-and-frisks, in which members of the public are stopped for questioning and patted down for weapons and drugs without probable cause, do not constitute a violation of the Fourth.