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Supreme Court: Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada

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The decision made by the Supreme Court in respect to Hiibel v. Sixth Judicial District Court of Nevada in 2004 affirmed that the Fourth Amendment of the constitution is not violated in case an individual is arrested by the police officer for not providing their names once requested to do so (1). The facts in this case were based on the incidence caused by a caller who reported of a woman being assaulted by a man in a red and GMC truck and when a police officer was sent to investigate the crime that was in progress, he saw a truck with matching the one investigation thus suspected the man standing near the truck (Bormel 2004, 2). It is prudent for law enforcers to get the names of suspects that he may see if he is wanted by the authority and to determine the risk posed by the suspect to the public (Bormel 2004, 3), therefore the officer asked the man to identify himself eleven times but the man refused, an act that prompted the police to arrest the man and take him to jail (Lane 2004, 1). For obstructing an officer in discharging his duties, Hiibel was found guilty and fined $250, as the evidence against him were concrete as it comprised of a videotape of the arrest, skid marks indicating that the truck had been brought to an abrupt halt, and signs of blows exchange on the woman in the truck (Bormel 2004, 3).

 The ruling of the Supreme Court which was in favor of the Nevada District Court had a great impact on the Americans who saw the need of complying with the police in their fight against crime and terrorism (Lane 2004, 2). As far as the Fourth and Fifth amendments are in place, officers are entitled to ascertain the identity of their suspect and that this does not imply that the government has tight surveillance on its citizens (Lane 2004, 2). This is in respect to the Nevada’s “stop and identify” statute that argues that it is not unreasonable for officers to request individuals to identify themselves when they are investigating crimes (1).

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