Hello! You are part of a community of millions who seek out Democracy Now! for ad-free daily news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for our in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power and lift up the voices of ordinary people working to make change in extraordinary times. We produce all of this news at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation. We do this without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How? This model of news depends on support from viewers and listeners like you. Today, less than 1% of our visitors support Democracy Now! with a donation each year. If even 3% of our website visitors donated just $12 per month, we could cover our basic operating expenses for a year. Pretty amazing right? If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make a monthly contribution.

Your Donation: $
Thursday, January 13, 2000 FULL SHOW | HEADLINES | NEXT: Gov. Gilmore of Virginia Proposes Separate Holidays...

U.S. Supreme Court Rules That Police Can Search Those Fleeing

download:   Audio Get CD/DVD More Formats
This is viewer supported news

Yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled that the police may stop and question someone who suddenly tries to run away after seeing officers arrive. The court’s 5 to 4 decision said police officers had sufficient reason to chase and stop a Chicago man, William Wardlow, who ran after spotting the officers arrive in a high-crime area known for drug trafficking.

The justices reversed a decision by the Illinois Supreme Court declaring that the stop violated Wardlow’s constitutional privacy rights protecting against unreasonable searches and seizures. In the majority opinion, Rehnquist said an individual’s presence in a high-crime area was not enough to justify a stop, but was a relevant factor in determining whether the circumstances were suspicious enough to warrant further investigation. According to the Chief Justice, "nervous, evasive behavior is a pertinent factor in determining reasonable suspicion" to justify a police stop.


  • Alan McSurely, civil rights attorney in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He is the attorney for the family of Kenneth Fennell, a Black college student who was killed in 1994 by a North Carolina State Trooper. That incident led to a Driving While Black bill which passed in the North Carolina Senate last year.
  • Will Harrel, Executive Director, National Police Accountability Project of the National Lawyers Guild.
  • Benito Juarez, American Friends Service Committee and coordinator, Houston Immigration and Refugee Coalition in Houston.
  • Mary Powers, National Coordinator, National Coalition on Police Accountability in Chicago.
  • Bill Thompson, Director of Governmental Affairs, Southern States Police Benevolent Association, which represents the interests of 17,000 federal, state, county and municipal law enforcement officers and is based in Atlanta, Georgia.
  • Delacey Davis, president and founder of Black Cops Against Police Brutality in New Jersey.

Creative Commons License The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

This is viewer supported news