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Walk Quickly…Look Around Quickly…Basis for Stop?

Posted Thursday, July 20, 2017 by Andrew Charles Huff

Can a police officer stop and question a person who walks out of a house known for drug activity, walks quickly to a car while looking around? That was the basis for a Richland Police Officer to stop and eventually arrest a man suspected of purchasing drugs.

However, the State Supreme Court placed the brakes on that move and held these observations of the suspect along with knowledge of drug dealing in the area was NOT sufficient to conduct a “stop and frisk” of the man that eventually led to his arrest.The Supreme Court found that an officer must have “reasonable suspicion of criminal activity based on specific and articulable facts known to the officer at the time of the stop.” In this case involving Mr. Wesley Weyand, the Court held that his late night visit to a known drug area along with his glances up and down the street while walking to his car was insufficient to trigger a stop by police. Evidence suppressed.

State of Washington v. Wesley James Weyand

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