Table of Contents
Case between Officer Fife, Officer Bill, and Snarly Sam
The issue involves Officer Fife and Officer Bill who were patrol officers and Snarly Sam who was found to possess Cocaine. According to the report, on May, 18th, 2017, Officer Fife when he arrived in his workstations, he found other officers reviewing the flyer of Kelvin Spacy who was suspect in the homicide. Accordingly, the flyer showed that Kelvin Spacy being a suspect in homicide was possibly armed with a knife. The flyer further had a photograph of Kelvin. Officer Fife then took the flyer with him as he undertook his routine patrol. As Fife walked around Hondo’s bar where Kelvin Spacy was suspected to frequent, he saw someone matching his descriptions who was later determined to be Snarly Sam. As Sam walked towards the back of the bar, Officer Fife followed him. As Sam was approached by Officer Fife, he put his in his pockets and refused to remove them as ordered by Officer Fife. When Fife grabbed the hand of Sam he found several packed rocks of cocaine. Sam was arrested by Fife for possessing Cocaine and when his home was later searched, he was found to be storing and selling cocaine.
First, it was right for Officer Fife to interrogate Sam as he was looking for Kelvin the suspected homicide criminal. According to the security laws, it is important for an officer to thoroughly investigate any person resembling the suspected person. The patrolling officer is allowed to utilize the stop-and-frisk policy while pursuing a suspected criminal. Therefore, Officer Fife had the right to stop and frisk Sam because he resembled Kelvin according to the photograph contained in the flyer. A person who is interrogated by the police officer can be arrested as a suspect if he fails to identify himself or herself to the patrolling officer (McClellan, 2006). According to the stop and frisk policy, matching a detailed description would constitute reasonable suspicion enough to stop and frisk an individual. However, the police officer might not develop probable cause that an individual stopped and interrogated is the right suspect until a thorough investigation has been performed.
Even though Sam had the right to place his hands in the pocket, it was lawful for him to remove the hands out of his pockets as ordered by Officer Fife. Lawfully, Sam after being commanded by Officer Fife, he was supposed to abide and take his hands out of the pockets. The police do not have an authentic right to search an individual but can command a person who matches the description of a suspect to do particular activities to set that set the person free from the suspect. However, because Sam refused to take the hands from his pockets as commanded by Officer Fife, it provided an opportunity for the officer to believe that Sam was the suspect or might be carrying something harmful. At such instances, it was lawful for Officer Fife being a patrolling officer to grab the hands of Sam to ascertain what he was carrying in his pockets. Grabbing the hand of Sam and removing from his pockets was the lawful thing for the officer to undertake. Such could prevent the harm that could have been caused by Sam. If Officer Fife had not grabbed the hand of Sam, he could not have found out that Sam was carrying cocaine. Later it was through such an action that Sam was found to be selling illegal cocaine.
However, it was unlawful for Bill to search Sam’s house without the warrant of arrest. After finding Sam in possession of cocaine, it was right for the police officers to seize Sam and look for a warrant of arrest before contacting house search. A court order allows the police to lawfully engage in a search or the suspect’s house. However, in some cases, a court might refuse to grant the police warrant of search based on the reasons given by such a police officer. Therefore, Sam had the right to refuse the police to search his home until they obtained a warrant of search from the court. Even though the police officers had found Sam with cocaine, Sam’s house was lawfully protected until the police officers have obtained a warrant of search, thus, allowing them to perform house search to find more about information that Sam was storing and distributing cocaine in his house (Modiano, 2000).
In conclusion, the issue involved Officer Fife and Bill who were the police officers and Sam who is a suspect. Sam was supposed to abide by the command from Officer Fife and take his hands out of the pockets. On the other, although Officer Bill had enough information that Sam was dealing with the sale of cocaine, he was supposed to seize him and look for a warrant of search before conducting a search on his house. Therefore, it was unlawful for Bill to conduct house search on Sam’s house without a warrant of search from the court.
- McClellan, G. S. (2006). The Right to privacy. New York: H.W. Wilson Co.
- Modiano, P. (2000). The search warrant. London: Harvill.