Monday, April 26, 2021
Should a police officer be able to frisk a suspect without an actual, good faith belief that the suspect is armed and presently dangerous? Some courts have answered this question in the affirmative. Other courts have held that such a belief is relevant but not dispositive. Finally, other courts have held that such a belief is irrelevant and that all that matters is whether an objectively reasonable officer in the officer's shoes could have believed that the suspect was armed and presently dangerous.
The Supreme Court of Indiana seems to fall into this third category based upon its recent opinion in Johnson v. Indiana, which led to a petition for writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court filed by Daniel Harawa.
Today, along with Ben Miller of the Wren Collective, LLC, I filed an amici curiae brief on behalf of 98 law professors arguing that the Supreme Court should grant cert in the case and find that an actual, good faith belief that a suspect is armed and presently dangerous is required to commence or continue a frisk.