FLEEING WHILE BLACK: HOW MASSACHUSETTS RESHAPED THE COUNTOURS OF THE TERRY STOP

54 Am. Crim. L. Rev. Online 42

Terrence Scudieri* 

Absent an effective legislative response at the federal level, several grassroots movements have emerged in recent years, calling upon the criminal justice system to effect meaningful change in policing communities of color. While marginalized communities of color are subjected to police force, the Massachusetts court’s opinion suggests a shift away from decades-long precedent that has traditionally granted law enforcement broad discretion in search and seizure. The court’s approach in Commonwealth v. Warren is a welcome recognition of the extent to which an individual’s race plays a role in determining whether a police officer will subject him to a seizure. This piece discusses the extent to which this decision may expand an individual’s privacy rights vis-à-vis conduct that permits police officers to execute a lawful search or seizure.

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