Police Harassment Law & Legal Definition


Law enforcement officers have used questioning, search and seizure, arrest, and accusation to harass ordinary citizens. Law enforcement officers have the right and the duty to stop and question any citizen, whenever a felony has been committed and they have reasonable grounds to believe that the citizen may have been involved in that felony. However, citizens have constitutional protections against unreasonable search aid seizures, interrogation without counsel, and unlawful detainment.

The limited protection search is sometimes used for harassment purposes. The law enforcement officer is permitted, if he has cause to suspect that a person is armed, to "frisk" that person for weapons. Also, under the plain view doctrine, if the officer's simply sees some item which he defines as contraband, he has the right to confiscate it, as well as to take any further action as appropriate.