RAS & PC -- what suspicion or cause must LEO's have to approach, in your state?

RAS & PC -- what suspicion or cause must LEO's have to approach, in your state?

This is a discussion on RAS & PC -- what suspicion or cause must LEO's have to approach, in your state? within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Reasonable Articulable Suspicion -- RAS Probable Cause -- PC In your state, what levels of RAS/PC are required of law enforcement folks in order to ...

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Thread: RAS & PC -- what suspicion or cause must LEO's have to approach, in your state?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Question RAS & PC -- what suspicion or cause must LEO's have to approach, in your state?

    Reasonable Articulable Suspicion -- RAS
    Probable Cause -- PC

    In your state, what levels of RAS/PC are required of law enforcement folks in order to lawfully approach a citizen for "cause"?

    If you know, it could be a worthwhile discussion. LEO's (past or present) are particularly encouraged to lend their knowledge in this.

    I'm not speaking of casual approach to generally engage with the public, to ask questions, get the "lay" of the land. This is strictly about approach for cause. The question is regarding the requisite level of cause, in your state, for LEO's to approach a suspect/target.


    This question is prompted by the many threads in which many posters seem to feel that any and every reason (or no reason at all) is reason enough to approach. Notably, most of these points of view seem to occur in the open-carry forum in which folks are seen visible carrying but without any other factors indicating "threat" or anything untoward about the behavior. But I've seen such comments elsewhere as well.

    Discuss.
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    Distinguished Member Array mr.stuart's Avatar
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    The only comment I heard from an LEO,concerning this, was a few years ago. He told a customer,in a casual conversation, that most of the time when he pulls people over for minor infractions, he is really 'fishing' for drugs or D.W.I. I believe this is what you are asking? What gives probable cause? One thing I do believe,the side of the road is not the place to argue with the police. If you feel they have violated your rights or done something illegal,wait for your lawyer.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mr.stuart View Post
    ... most of the time when he pulls people over for minor infractions, he is really 'fishing' for drugs or D.W.I. I believe this is what you are asking?
    Not really asking about "fishing" expeditions, no. But, in states where LEO's are doing this heavily then yes it's part of the approach situations, so yes it's one of those types of "cause" the question is getting to. But the focus is really on suspicions and cause, not "fishing."
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    VIP Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    I am a little confused by how you put the question... there aren't levels of reasonable articulable suspicion and probable cause, you either meet the standard or you don't.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madcap_Magician View Post
    I am a little confused by how you put the question... there aren't levels of reasonable articulable suspicion and probable cause, you either meet the standard or you don't.
    That's what I'm getting at, though. What the RAS/PC is in states that LEO's are required to have. From what I understand, there are some states, most certainly some counties, where the apparent "single" standard is relaxed and other "levels" are in practice acceptable. Am interested in what people know to be the case, in practice, in their own states.
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    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
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    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Far as I know "reasonable articluable suspicion" and "probable cause" are the standards ot the evidentiary burden that must be met by the police before a particular police action. Probable cause is also the burden to be met when obtaining a search or arrest warrant.

    I'm not sure of the case law but some many years ago the Supreme's allowed an officer may make a summary arrest if that arrest met the same standard it would have taken to get an arrest warrant, AND obtaining that warrant would cause unessisary delay. That standard is probable cause. I suggest everyone look up the legal term of probable cause. Probable cause itself does NOT meet the legal burden for a conviction. As a police officer or a police detective the summary arrest was and to some point still is a boone for the criminal investigator. Abuse of summary arrests have led to several rulings against the police including Miranda, and Escobido.

    Reasonable articluable suspicion is the more dificult one to explain as it allows for action or inaction and any thousands of behaviour to be considered by individual officers. This is a lesser standard than probable cause so RAS in itself will not support a summary arrest. However RAS can be used to investigate and build a case of probable cause. Reasonable.. the officers assumptions must be reasonable.. not a hunch, or based entirely on racial profiling, or based in random interaction... and probably a whole lot more ways it could be abused. AND (= +) the officer must be able to articulate or explain his suspicion to a reasonable person and a reasonable person would agree. AND (= +) There must be real suspicion, not be harrassment, personal, or agenda driven. All three elements must be satisfied in order for RAS to be met.

    A stop/question/frisk requires RAS as a basis for the stop and questioning. The frisk is not a fishing trip to find further evidence. The frisk is an element added for officer safety. A frisk is defined as a cursury search or a pat down of the subjects outer clothing. This is for WEAPONS ONLY.

    This used to be the NYPD policy. Now being Black or Hispanic, or a White person on a black or hispanic neighborhood is suspicious. Go figure.

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    Ex Member Array SayVandelay's Avatar
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    I find that in regards to law enforcement policy and law, Whatever rules are in place there's always another one in place that more or less allows them to get away with whatever they want, you just don't hear about it until you appear in court. Otherwise they'd have to fire half the law enforcement in the country, since few seem to understand the laws they enforce.
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    My old department (the NYPD) is now embroiled in what I consider to be a constitutional scandal regarding stop and frisks. Stop and frisk is a police investigative tool, as well as a preventive tool for patrol. But mostly it's an investigative tool. An example of a proper stop and frisk would be... An officer walking a foot post hears over the radio that a black man wearing all dark clothing, and has a beard on his face robbed a grocery store with a small black gun. The subject left the store heading east 15 minutes in the past. The officer is working in a predominently black neighborhood. The officer see's a black guy sporting a beard heading west three blocks from the victim store. The man is wearing navy blue work clothes, and he's wearing a green spring weight jacket. The officer stops the man and questions him about his actions in the past hour, and the officer frisks the subject. The officer didnt find any firearm or knife that could hurt him, but the officer does feel a bundle of heroin in the mans pocket. The officer detains until a victim can be brought to his location for a prompt on the scene show up. The subject is not identified. Does the officer arrest for what he knows is a bundle of dope? The answer is NO.. unless the officer obtains a search warrant. The officer has to let the subject go. Thats how it's supposed to happen.

    NYPD stop and frisk. Your black... put your hands against the wall... is that pot in your pocket? (possesion of a personal amount of pot is a summons... If that pot is open to public vies it's a crime) Then the officer demands the subject empty his pockets.. now the pot is open to public view... and the subject is arrested.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SayVandelay View Post
    I find that in regards to law enforcement policy and law, Whatever rules are in place there's always another one in place that more or less allows them to get away with whatever they want, you just don't hear about it until you appear in court. Otherwise they'd have to fire half the law enforcement in the country, since few seem to understand the laws they enforce.
    Sir...

    Nothing personal but I believe your incorrect. Cases dismissed in court, when they happen is 99% of the time because someone made a mistake. More often than not it's the police who made the mistake. Maybe thats a bad analogy. or mistake is a poor word to use. I'll say error. Errors are not intentional. Case law changes all the time, and it's impossible for individual officers to keep up with it... Unlike attorney's who have the luxury of time and resources to research case law, the police are most often in major time constraints, and have limited material and resources for such research. Also the police are not lawyers. Interpetations of the laws are decided upon, and are given to the police by district and states attorney's.

    The other thing is.... arrests being thrown out are fairly rare.

    The last thing is... The police work hard to provide evidence of guilt... They work just as hard to provide exculpatory evidence.
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    ^I live in a state where local police are hired through craigslist ads and receive little formal training, you should see them at the shooting range. it's the trade off for living in a state with no taxes. Clearly you're more versed in law, but I've seen the law not being applied to police too many times to have much faith in the Leo community as a whole. I also know some great officers who go under appreciated and love public service and do it well. It's not like I think we'd be better off without them, but we'd be better served for making sure they're actually competent and capable.
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    VIP Member Array Secret Spuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SayVandelay View Post
    ^I live in a state where local police are hired through craigslist ads and receive little formal training, you should see them at the shooting range. it's the trade off for living in a state with no taxes. Clearly you're more versed in law, but I've seen the law not being applied to police too many times to have much faith in the Leo community as a whole. I also know some great officers who go under appreciated and love public service and do it well. It's not like I think we'd be better off without them, but we'd be better served for making sure they're actually competent and capable.
    I'd sure like to know what state that is. So's I can avoid it. I dont know of a state without a set of standards mandated for police officers. I also live in a state without income tax. Their standards for officers here are fairly high and very rigid.

    I have to keep in mind that a police department almost always will resemble the community they serve. If the elected government is inept or corrupt... the police department will be no different. Usually the problem runs deeper that just the police. If a community is bigoted, and exclusive.... those values will reflect in their police department. I think everyone should understand that police officers put their pants on one leg at a time... just like everyone else.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Secret Spuk View Post
    Far as I know "reasonable articluable suspicion" and "probable cause" are the standards ot the evidentiary burden that must be met by the police before a particular police action. Probable cause is also the burden to be met when obtaining a search or arrest warrant.

    I'm not sure of the case law but some many years ago the Supreme's allowed an officer may make a summary arrest if that arrest met the same standard it would have taken to get an arrest warrant, AND obtaining that warrant would cause unessisary delay. That standard is probable cause. I suggest everyone look up the legal term of probable cause. Probable cause itself does NOT meet the legal burden for a conviction. As a police officer or a police detective the summary arrest was and to some point still is a boone for the criminal investigator. Abuse of summary arrests have led to several rulings against the police including Miranda, and Escobido.

    Reasonable articluable suspicion is the more dificult one to explain as it allows for action or inaction and any thousands of behaviour to be considered by individual officers. This is a lesser standard than probable cause so RAS in itself will not support a summary arrest. However RAS can be used to investigate and build a case of probable cause. Reasonable.. the officers assumptions must be reasonable.. not a hunch, or based entirely on racial profiling, or based in random interaction... and probably a whole lot more ways it could be abused. AND (= +) the officer must be able to articulate or explain his suspicion to a reasonable person and a reasonable person would agree. AND (= +) There must be real suspicion, not be harrassment, personal, or agenda driven. All three elements must be satisfied in order for RAS to be met.

    A stop/question/frisk requires RAS as a basis for the stop and questioning. The frisk is not a fishing trip to find further evidence. The frisk is an element added for officer safety. A frisk is defined as a cursury search or a pat down of the subjects outer clothing. This is for WEAPONS ONLY.

    This used to be the NYPD policy. Now being Black or Hispanic, or a White person on a black or hispanic neighborhood is suspicious. Go figure.




    ^^^^^Very good descriptive explanation^^^^^^


    But it would seem to me, that all an officer would have to say is that "you/your vehicle fit a description of a person/vehicle of interest, and who, for the most part would argue, even if it were one of us.
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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    ccw9m,

    It seems you are getting to the whole OC thing and whether or not it meets RAS, we both know that it does not, but my question to others would be, the call for service, does that warrant at least a stop and ask session, or should the OCer that is doing nothing more than carry his pistol just be left alone. I will not even get into the NYPD thing, that is just wrong on so many levels.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    ccw9m,

    It seems you are getting to the whole OC thing and whether or not it meets RAS, we both know that it does not, but my question to others would be, the call for service, does that warrant at least a stop and ask session, or should the OCer that is doing nothing more than carry his pistol just be left alone. I will not even get into the NYPD thing, that is just wrong on so many levels.....
    Calls to service will be met with that service or the officer faces possible charges and/or dismissal from duty for nonfeasance. That may not be in every jurisdiction, but it's is in the majority of them. AFAIK, an officer can not simply ignore a call to service.
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    In order to approach a person and even engage them in conversation, even accusatory questioning, no level of proof is required. The person is free to walk away.

    In order to temporarily detain a person, using a reasonable level of force if required, the officer must be able to explain the facts and inferences that caused them to think there was a crime committed or about to be committed.

    In order to arrest a person, the officer must have probable cause, sorta a more likely than not test. Another good definition, though a bit more restrictive than the law allows, is a reliable witness who observed the crime.

    FWIW, none of these are new case law... They date from the 1960's.




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