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Reasonable Suspicion – Frisk – drug investigation – auto

State v. Roosevelt Williams, 2001 WI 21, on remand from U.S. S.Ct., 529 U.S. 1050 (2000), previously reported: State v. Roosevelt Williams, 225 Wis. 2d 159, 591 N.W.2d 823 (1999); State v. Williams, 214 Wis. 2d 412, 570 N.W.2d 892 (Ct. App. 1997).For Williams: Melinda Swartz, SPD, Milwaukee Appellate.

Issue: Whether the police had reasonable suspiciion to conduct a “protective search” of an auto, after a Terry stop to investigate reported drug dealing.

Holding: Because the police had seen the suspect extend his hand behind the passenger seat; and because the police knew dealers to carry guns, they reasonably suspected that the suspect had dropped or hidden a weapon while his hand was concealed.¶¶51-55.

For discussion of the permissible scope of a protective search of a vehicle, see U.S. v. Arnold, 388 F. 3d 237 (7th Cir. No. 03-1376, 11/2/04).

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