FOR GOVERNMENT AND LAW (G) (T) (E)
Government Structure and Function :
One night at 1:30 AM, 2 policemen were cruising around in their car, checking on situations in a dangerous neighborhood. There had been a number of killings in the neighborhood, and they had been assigned to this neighborhood. In a huge vacant field, the policemen noticed a large group of youngsters hanging out against the fence. They were too far away for the policemen to see what they were doing.
At the near side of the field, there was a car parked with 2 obvious occupants, a driver and a passenger in the other front seat. They were playing very loud music in the car.
The policemen approached the car and asked the driver and other occupant to get out of the car.The occupant who was not the driver, got out immediately. One policeman asked him to "assume the position" and he proceeded to "pat him down". The policeman did not find anything and then asked this person a few questions. "What was he doing in this neighborhood?" (He lived a couple of blocks away), "Had they been in the field all night or did they just recently park there?" (they had just come from a party) At the end of the questioning, the policemen told the person to go home and he left the scene. During this time, the driver stayed in the car and refused to get out when the other policeman asked him to vacate the car. After the other man had left, the two policemen both approached the car and insisted that the driver vacate the car or they would take him out forcibly. Finally, he turned toward a compartment in the middle of the 2 front seats, threw something in there and closed the compartment. Then he got out of the car. One of the policemen opened the door of the car and opened the compartment. There was a gun in the compartment which they confiscated. The driver was arrested for possession of a firearm, etc.
Answer these questions:
a. Were the policemen legally able to ask the driver and the passenger to get out of the car?
b. When the passenger got out of the car, were the policemen within their legal rights to search his person?
c. Why do you think that the policemen let the occupant go home?
d. When the driver finally got out of the car, did the policemen have the right to search him?
e. Did the driver have the right to refuse to get out of the car?
f. Did the policemen have the right to search the car and seize the gun?
Reread the 4th amendment.
Apply the rights of the 4th amendment to this case.
Make sure to pay attention to any exceptions to the 4th amendment)
Write your analysis of the case in 3 well-constructed paragraphs.
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