it

When Can The Police Detain And Handcuff Me?

hi I'm Michele Byington one of the

program lawyers for Texas law school and

today I want to ask you can a lawful gun

owner who was done absolutely nothing

wrong

but was forced to use their gun in

self-defense

end up in handcuffs and the answer is

yes and let me tell you why

courts have told us that an individual

may be lawfully detained by a police

officer if that police officer has a

reasonable suspicion that they have

committed a crime I want to focus on two

things out of there number one

reasonable suspicion and number two

detainment let's start with reasonable

suspicion what does that mean well

reasonable suspicion is a very low legal

standard and it's a very murky concept

that courts have attempted to explain

courts have even said that conduct that

is absolutely consistent with innocent

activity may give a police officer a

reasonable suspicion that you're

committing a crime courts have said your

car being too clean your car being too

dirty going over the speed limit or even

going the exact speed limit are all

facts that may give rise to a reasonable

suspicion that you're committing a crime

let's take these set of facts say you

are walking down the street checking out

some stores looking in its windows would

that give a police officer a reasonable

suspicion that you're about to rob the

joint or one of those stores

well the answer is yes and these are

similar facts to the famous case of

Terry versus Ohio in that case two

individuals were walking down the street

looking into store windows a police

officer detained them and did a frisk of

them for weapons what you need to take

away from this is that you may be

lawfully detained by a police officer

even when you've done nothing wrong

let's talk about number two detainment

what is a detainment well a detainment

occurs when a police officer inserts his

authority over you and makes you stay in

one spot he restricts your liberty he

restricts your movement by either saying

hey you sit right

here don't move I'm gonna go check you

for warrants all the way to I'm gonna

put you in handcuffs buddy and you're

gonna sit in the back of my squad car

for an indefinite amount of time all of

these things from sit right here don't

move all the way to being handcuffed in

the back of the squad car all equal a

detainment and all absolutely lawful on

a reasonable suspicion that you've

committed a crime so what can we get

from all of this and even if you've done

nothing wrong

and you've had to use your gun lawfully

that may still give a reasonable

suspicion that you did something wrong

and you can land in handcuffs it's that

easy