Terry stop

noun
Ter·​ry stop | \ ˈter-ē- \

Legal Definition of Terry stop

: a stop and limited search of a person for weapons justified by a police officer's reasonable conclusion that a crime is being or about to be committed by a person who may be armed and whose responses to questioning do not dispel the officer's fear of danger to the officer or to others — compare reasonable suspicion

History and Etymology for Terry stop

from Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), case in which the right of police to stop and question a suspect was first discussed

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Cite this Entry

“Terry stop.” Merriam-Webster.com Legal Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/legal/Terry%20stop. Accessed 4 Jul. 2020.

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