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Minnesota v. Dickerson

United States Supreme Court
508 U.S. 366 (1993)



Minnesota police spotted Dickerson (defendant) leaving a known crack house. When Dickerson saw the officers, he turned and walked in the other direction. Based on these facts, the officers stopped Dickerson, and one of them performed a patdown search. The officer found no weapons but did feel a small object in Dickerson’s jacket pocket. Believing this object to be crack cocaine wrapped in cellophane, the officer reached into the pocket to remove it. The officer found crack cocaine and arrested Dickerson for drug possession. At trial, Dickerson moved to suppress the evidence, but the Hennepin County District Court denied the motion, and Dickerson was convicted. The Minnesota Court of Appeals then reversed, refusing to adopt the "plain feel" exception and holding that the seizure of the cocaine violated the Fourth Amendment. The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed the ruling.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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