Stop and Frisk Arrest and Stationhouse Detention

Based on the scenario below, provide help discussing the level of proof needed for the officers to stop and frisk the five youths, arrest the youths, and the varying elements used to justify fingerprinting the youths.

Use specific examples from the fact pattern to support your findings.


Stop and Frisk, Arrest, and Stationhouse Detention

On August 18, 2005, Phoenix police officers Donald Russo and Clyde Bennett were patrolling eastbound on University Drive when they received a call on their radio around 9:45 p.m. A robbery with shots fired had taken place at a convenience store near the intersection of University Drive and McClintock Road, about five blocks from the local university. Dispatch described the suspects as “three youths wearing dark clothing.”

Russo and Bennett responded to the call. As the officers approached the intersection, they spotted five youths jogging westbound, on the south side of University Drive. Of the five youths, two wore dark-colored clothing, one wore a light-colored, heavy jacket, and two wore light-colored clothing.

The police vehicle turned to head westbound on University Drive. The cruiser’s lights illuminated as the police vehicle pulled behind the jogging youths. Officer Russo, the driver of the patrol car, yelled for the youths to stop. The two in light-colored clothing complied, but the other three elevated their jog to a sprint. Officer Bennett chased the three runners while Officer Russo detained the cooperative parties. After a quick and painless pursuit, Officer Bennett stopped the youths and brought them back to his partner’s location.

Bennett asked all five youths why they were jogging. They looked back and forth at each other, looking for the right answer. The officer later noted the suspects looked nervous. One of the youths stated that they were all trying to get home before curfew. Officer Russo then asked why one of the youths wore a heavy jacket in the middle of summer in Phoenix. No answer was given.

The officers patted down the youths, finding several bulging pockets. The youth in the heavy jacket carried over $300 in cash?mostly twenty dollar bills that he said belonged to his parents. The two youths in the light-colored clothing each had $100 in twenties, and the two dark-clothed youths had around $70 in various bill denominations. Nothing else was found on their persons.

The officers contacted the unit that had responded at the convenience store, verifying that the general description of the robbers matched three of the youths in custody. Officers Bennett and Russo took the five youths to the store. The clerk identified the two dark-clothed suspects and the youth in the heavy jacket as having taken more than $600 from his store’s cash register. A gun was later recovered in the nearby trashcan outside the convenient store.

The three youths in question were informed of their Miranda rights and transported to the stationhouse for questioning and fingerprinting.


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