Stop and frisk in Ohio: What are your rights?

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Retired Youngstown detective/sergeant Delphine Baldwin-Casey answered some questions about stop and frisk in Ohio

(WKBN) – Retired Youngstown detective/sergeant Delphine Baldwin-Casey said many questions arise when it comes to the stop and frisk policy in Ohio.

A policy that was developed in 1968, during the Terry Vs Ohio case, is still in place today. That policy says if a police officer had a reasonable suspicion that a person has a weapon that poses a danger to the officer, the officer may stop that person and search them for that weapon.

A discussion was previously held at the East Branch Library in Youngstown in which Baldwin-Casey gave information and answered questions about stop and frisk in Ohio.

We compiled a list of questions along with answers related to stop and frisk. Below are the questions with her answers:

  • Q. – Is Ohio a Stop and Frisk state?
  • A. – Yes. This means if an officer feels there is probable cause, he or she may search your car or pat you down.
  • Q. – Under what circumstances can an officer stop a person and search them?
  • A. – An officer must have an initial reason to stop a person, whether they’re driving or walking. Then, an officer must have probable cause in order to search the person.
  • Q. – If you are stopped by police can you refuse a patdown?
  • A. – If you refuse being searched during a stop with probable cause, you may be arrested.
  • Q. – Can stop and frisk be a form of racial profiling?
  • A. – For some officers, it could be a form of racial profiling.
  • Q. – Can police search your car without a warrant?
  • A. – Police may search your car if there is probable cause; they do not need a warrant.
  • Q. – Can an officer ask a passenger for identification during a traffic stop?
  •  According to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, an officer cannot prolong a traffic stop if a passenger refuses to identify himself or herself, unless there is suspicion of a crime.
  • Q. – If an officer asks to search your car, can you say no?
  • A. – If an officer does not have probable cause and asks to search your car, you should always say no.
  • Q. – Is a former conviction probable cause to search me or my car?
  • A. – No, an officer cannot use an arrest record as probable cause to search you.
  • Q. – Can a woman request a female officer to do a pat-down?
  • A. – Yes, if a female officer is available, one can be called to come perform the pat-down, but if one is not available, the male officer may proceed with the pat-down.

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