Circuit Finds No Reasonable Suspicion for 'Terry' Stop

, New York Law Journal


A conviction for being a felon in possession of a firearm has been vacated by a divided Second Circuit, which found that police were unable to assess the credibility of an unknown caller and had no other information to corroborate two anonymous 911 tips that a man was carrying a gun in the Bronx.

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  • Matthew Siegel

    While I am not a criminal lawyer, nor involved in the criminal legal system, nor even a student of criminal law, one can only ponder just how "specific and articulable" and drily logical do circumstances otherwise have to be to warrant the stopping of a suspect under Terry-v-Ohio -- a case I have not read since attending law school and studying for the Bar exam some thirty years ago? Conversely, at the cost of public safety and civic duty I am in a quandary as to why it is such an unreasonable imposition for our police to stop and question an otherwise "presumed-innocent" citizen regarding REASONABLY SUSPECTED criminal activity if such person truly has nothing to hide -- especially in this post-"9/11" world! Clearly, the utility of preventing criminal conduct ineluctably trumps the risk of its occurrence where the eye of ordinary vigilance and practical wisdom -- albeit based on perhaps less-than-perfect, although possibly reliable, information -- dictates that a crime has or is about to be committed and something ought to be done!


    Matthew Siegel

    White Plains, New York

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