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Minnesota v Dickerson

             Near a house police considered to be a place of cocaine traffic, officers spotted a man walking toward them. When eye contact was made the man turned and walked away down an alley, the police pursued and stopped and searched the suspect. During the pat down search to be sure the accused had no weapons, an officer felt a lump in the man's jacket pocket. He removed it and discovered it was a piece of crack cocaine. The man was charged with possession of a controlled substance. At trial court the accused move to suppress the cocaine but the motion was denied. The court said that Terry v. Ohio (1968) held that police had the right to stop someone suspected of being engaged in criminal activity and to search the suspect for a weapon and that the officer's seizure took place after the officer formed the opinion that the lump was cocaine by feeling. The accused was found guilty. On appeal, the Minnesota Court of Appeals reversed. They (1) concluded that the seizure was unconstitutionally under Terry v. Ohio and (2) declined to adopt a "plain feel" exception to the Fourth Amendment's warrant requirement. On further appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed, expressing the view that: (1) the "plain view" exception to the warrant requirement did not extend to the sense of touch and, further, (2) that the officer did not immediately recognize the substance by touch but had engaged in squeezing, sliding and otherwise manipulating the contents of the pocket. .
             Questions Presented and Answers:.
             Question: Whether or not the Fourth Amendment issues raised during this case pertain to illegal search and seizure and whether they were violated in this instance. Whether there was a basis or legal value in following the respondent and searching him for contraband or weapons? .
             Answer: The building the respondent was leaving had a reputation for being repeatedly busted for drug possession. However, this did not give the officers the right to follow him and pull him over in order to search him.

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