If I'm just walking down a street, can a Police Office grab me and search me for no reason?

Just walking down a street minding my own buisness, not doing anything illegal and got grabbed by a cop who forcefully pressed me against the wall and searched me and then let me go.

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    No.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is difficult to answer. The official answer based on the information provided is... No he can not do that.

    HOWEVER there are a lot of details that change that answer to yes.

    1) You match the description of a person that is wanted for questioning

    2) You are in the vicinity where a crime has taken place

    3) Your presence is suspicious by the nature of the environment (Like in a park at 3am)

    The list actually can get quite long. So there are enough reasons that a cop has to pretty much stop anyone for anything. You could have done something as simple as stepped off the curb and that might have violated the local j-walking laws. You can never tell but what you CAN do is call the police department and tell them you have a grievance.

    They will investigate the issue and return to you a report of what the primary reason for your stop was (I.E. they generate a report for probable cause)

    Now if he did not ask to search you then likely he was operating under some sort of issue that required him to assure public safety.

    Hope future run ins are less "exciting"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I think it would serve you better to give us the full story. I know that you are telling an itty-bitty portion of it just from how you are over simplifying what happened.

    Anyway, the short answer is no; you are protected against unreasonable search and seizure. However, probable cause and reasonable suspicion can weigh very heavily against that. Most of the time an officer has that if they are going to search you, much less "forcefully press" you against a wall.

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  • A police officer is not able to do this without liable cause, doing this without having any reason is probably against the law, but depending where you are located. You have to let the person know why they are being searched, with a valid reason. You don't need a reason if your taking the person in.

    You should make a complaint to your local Police Department. Also, check the laws of your area and see if he has rights to check you with no reason.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Depends what country you're in. In the UK - generally no, but they could argue reason if they can demonstrate suspicion of weapons, terrorism, etc, which seems to be increasing. Under normal circumstances they cannot search you without your permission - even stop/searches under the Terrorism Act should be explained to you and done with your permission. Your best bet if you get the chance at the time is to take the number of the officers (should be on their shoulders) or ask them for a record of the search. Then seek legal advice (start with citizens advice which is free).

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  • 1 decade ago

    too hard to answer exactly with all the circumstances. In short the answer is "no", but the officer may say there was some "suspicion" or "similar look to a suspected felon". However, grabbing you and forcing you against the wall without saying anything is definetly not the way to go. You could file a complaint if you have his/her badge number/name if you think you are totally in the right.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The whole purpose of a cop searching someone in that manner is to "search for Weapons" for the officers saftey. It's case law called a frisk search. A cop doesn't need to much reason to perform this search other than at that time and moment you may have been suspisious enough for him to want to search you. very easy for the cop to get around this cause if it went to court he would just say "OFFICER SAFETY"

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes, All they have to do is say: He fit tht e description of a perp. or Made a suspiciouse movement so I felt he might be concealing a weapon or other contraban. Its a game you can't win its happened to me too. I'm white and I had long hair. I just looked up saw the cop sitting there in his car and was a little startled. The cop saw it and asked for my ID and searched me I didn't have my ID on me since I was just going to the corner store and so he took me in. since I lived alone and had no way of contacting anyone I sat for 72 hours til they ran my prints and let me go. That was 15 years ago. I'm sure after 9/11 its way worse if your brown or black or have long hair or whatever other profile you may fit.

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  • 1 decade ago

    This is so wrong! But they can say what they want, and it is very hard to fight what an officer says. Unfortunately some people get into law enforcement for the wrong reasons, they want to be in control, and that can play into their actions and abuse of their status. You must be completely conforming if this happens, or they may get abusive and even make up problems for you to deal with. Be careful trying to get any recource on an out of control police officer. Most of them are good, honest, hard working people. We would be lost without them, but there are those others...

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  • 1 decade ago

    For a cop to just grab you and search you out of the clear blue is nonsense. If they went in your pockets for no reason, then you would have a lawsuit on your hands and that officer would be fired. Otherwise, please tell the whole story and your question would be better answered.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Funny you should say this.. about 3 months ago, walking down the street, I was swarmed by three cop cars. Ok sag-way here.. moments before I found an item along side the road. Later I learn the item I picked up was stolen and the thieves left it along side the road. Anyway I had this item in my hands as the cops swarmed around me. I didn't panic, they asked me to have a sit on the curb. After a moment they asked me to remove my hat and sun glasses. I responded "erm am I under arrest?" "No Sir" they replied. "We got a report of someone matching your description in the area was wanted for attempted murder" one officer said. I couldn't believe it I laughed. "Common, the only thing I have ever did "wrong" was a speeding ticket 95 in a 35 zone.. (erm as a teen and in my supped up, 63 Vw Bug)" back to the story.. as I sat on the curb, hat off, sun glasses off, a car pulled up. The window rolled down, and a woman stuck her head out and replied. "Officer that surely looks like my ex-boyfriend come back to kill me".. I couldn't believe it.. I said "lady I don't know you from eve" " besides if I had ever strayed from my wife of 11 years she would surly kill me". The lady drove off.. the offers told me to excuse them for stopping me and I could be on my way. Matter of fact I was walking the item up the street to the local store, The same store the item was stolen from by chance. Did I get a reward?.. nope but it felt good knowing I wasn't the one wanted for murder.. :P

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