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Officer Taylor: The Case Study

The existing paper dwells on a case study of Officer Taylor, who had to interact with a suspicious driver during a routine traffic stop. Across the body of the research, the author is going to address the questions of why the stop was performed in the first place and what could be the outcomes of the case. Overall, the actions of Officer Taylor can be justified based on the legal provisions and the exceptions included in the Fourth Amendment.

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The primary question that has to be answered is whether Officer Taylor had the reasonable suspicion to perform the initial stop. Based on the facts from the case, it may be concluded that the officer’s decision to pull the car over was judicious. Reasonable suspicion is covered in the literature as a stop or a search that has to be completed in order to validate an officer’s justifiable suspicion depending on the circumstances and facts available to the given law enforcement officer (Gaston & Brunson, 2020). Knowing that some of the states have a different stance on the utilization of colored tape as a fix for broken tail lights, it should also be noted that Officer Taylor was precautious and not genuinely biased when she decided to stop the car. Pulling over the suspicious car was the best decision for the law enforcement agent in question.

When thinking about “those people,” Officer Taylor might have pointed out her own fears regarding an altercation with a dangerous suspect. Therefore, the stop could be outlined as an attempt to justify these thoughts and see if everything was right with the driver and the car. The wording was not exactly tolerant and acceptable, but Officer Taylor’s experiences and knowledge are not covered in the case study in any way, leaving the audience with no clues concerning the neighborhood and inherent hazards.

Consequently, it would be safe to say that Officer Taylor resorted to racial profiling if she performed the stop because her decision-making being affected by personal outlooks (Vito et al., 2017). Other than that, those were the officer’s thoughts to herself, meaning that she did not voice them elsewhere or let such thoughts affect her decision-making in other cases as well.

Based on the idea that Officer Taylor kept in mind a vehicle description that featured a similar car involved in a roadside killing of a fellow law enforcement agent, the officer had to keep it safe and perform a pat-down. The evidence from the case makes it possible to suggest that it was a mere terry-stop intended to keep all the participants of the case study out of trouble. The reasonable suspicion that the officer had concerning the driver represented the willingness to ensure that the license and registration were intact. Nevertheless, the driver got herself involved in a car chase, forcing an aggravated condition for herself.

Given that immediate action had to be held against the wrongdoer in order to prevent the driver from causing more damage, the officer’s decision to give chase to the vehicle was completely reasonable. The woman’s decision to leave the place of the stop turned her into an escaping criminal since it is a violation of the law to increase speed in an attempt to avoid being apprehended by the police when revolving/flashing lights and/or an audible signal device are utilized (Bui et al., 2018). With the imprisonment and fines remaining on the line for those choosing to escape the police during a stop, it may be safe to say that Officer Taylor proceeded correctly when she engaged in a chase.

According to Sandhu (2019), the plain view can be defined as an opportunity of a police officer to perform search and seizure without gaining access to a relevant search warrant since no entry or search have to be completed to see the evidence or the product of criminal activity. Therefore, the gun was not in plain view, but it was obtained on legal terms because the driver’s identity was not established. In line with an exception included in the Fourth Amendment, Officer Taylor had the right to motivate her actions using probable cause and reasonable suspicion to cover the absence of plain view when searching the glove compartment. The officer was required to identify the subject, so it practically protected her from violating the driver’s rights.

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By extending the clause related to the exception to the Fourth Amendment, Officer Taylor could utilize the marijuana baggie as admissible evidence. The definition of admissible evidence requires it to be received by the jury in a lawful manner in order to define the possible virtues of a disagreement between the plaintiff and the defendant (Celeste, 2017). Another idea is that the police will have to test if the baggie actually contained marijuana in order to make sure that the exception to the Fourth Amendment will still be available as a rationale for the validation of perceiving marijuana as admissible evidence.

Overall, there are enough pieces of evidence to suggest that Officer Taylor was justified when deciding to pull the car over and complete a pat-down search for weapons. From the contents of the case, it is also evident that the officer is affected by prejudices to a certain extent since her decision-making could be damaged by bias. The subject, if not escaping the place of the stop, could have filed a formal complaint on the officer and won the case since some of Officer Taylor’s actions would not be justified under the condition of the subject’s lawful behaviors.


Bui, D. P., Balland, S., Giblin, C., Jung, A. M., Kramer, S., Peng, A.,… & Burgess, J. L. (2018). Interventions and controls to prevent emergency service vehicle incidents: A mixed methods review. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 115, 189-201. Web.

Celeste, M. A. (2017). A judicial perspective on expert testimony in marijuana driving cases. Journal of Medical Toxicology, 13(1), 117-123. Web.

Gaston, S., & Brunson, R. K. (2020). Reasonable suspicion in the eye of the beholder: Routine policing in racially different disadvantaged neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review, 56(1), 188-227. Web.

Sandhu, A. (2019). ‘I’m glad that was on camera’: A case study of police officers’ perceptions of cameras. Policing and Society, 29(2), 223-235. Web.

Vito, A. G., Grossi, E. L., & Higgins, G. E. (2017). The issue of racial profiling in traffic stop citations. Journal of Contemporary Criminal Justice, 33(4), 431-450. Web.

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