Stop of the person

The United States Supreme Court ruled in Terry v. Ohio that not all encounters on the street between the police and private citizens are a seizure under the Fourth Amendment. “In order to initiate an investigation involving brief detention short of a formal arrest, a law enforcement officer must act on the basis of ‘specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion.’ ” Griffin, 459 A.2d at 1089, quoting Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 1880, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968). The intrusion is justified if the officer has suspicion of “criminal conduct which has taken place, is occurring, or imminently will occur” and the suspicion is reasonably warranted, i.e., a person of “reasonable caution” would believe that criminal activity was afoot. State v. Garland, 482 A.2d 139, 142 (Me.1984); Griffin, 459 A.2d at 1089; Terry, 392 U.S. at 21–22, 88 S.Ct. at 1879–1880. The reasonable suspicion standard requires less than probable cause that a crime was being committed, but more than speculation or an unsubstantiated hunch. State v. Wentworth, 480 A.2d 751, 755 (Me.1984).

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