Death of weapons frisk greatly exaggerated after MA high court ruling

News reports are exaggerating the impact of a new Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Massachusetts on a police officer's right to stop and frisk suspects for weapons. This right was established in 1968 in the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio. In Commonwealth v. Paul Gomes, the SJC held that conducting a pat frisk of a suspect solely on a general concern that he was in a high crime area violates the Fourth Amendment prohibition on unreasonable searches and seizures. Key line in the SJC case : " Officer Walsh gave no testimony that the police observed anything suggesting that the defendant had a weapon." Coupled with no weapons priors for Gomes, the search was found to be unreasonable.

No new law here. Just a reminder that, if no requirement existed for specific suspicions about a suspect, residents in high-crime areas could be pat frisked while simply walking in their neighborhood.