Illinois v. Wardlow
United States Supreme Court
528 U.S. 119 (2000)
Riding in four separate cars, police officers entered a high drug area of the city to investigate drug transactions. The officers in the last car of the caravan witnessed Wardlow (defendant) standing by a building holding an opaque bag. When Wardlow looked at the car he began running away, and the officers in the last car gave chase and caught him. One of the officers immediately conducted a pat-down to search for weapons. The officer felt something that appeared to be a weapon and when he removed it he discovered it was a handgun. Wardlow was arrested for unlawful use of a weapon by a felon. The trial court held that the stop and frisk was lawful and allowed the gun to be introduced as evidence at trial. The court of appeals reversed Wardlow’s conviction, holding that the police had no reasonable suspicion to search Wardlow and the gun should have been suppressed. The state supreme court affirmed the court of appeals’ ruling and held that flight, even in a high crime area, does not amount to reasonable suspicion because it may be interpreted as an exercise of a citizen’s right to refuse to answer police questions when stopped on the street. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, C.J.)
Concurrence/Dissent (Stevens, J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read our student testimonials.
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 168,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 13,800 briefs, keyed to 187 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.