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Thereafter, Detective Joseph Frolich entered the basement "in case there was someone else" down there. He noticed a red running suit lying in plain view on a stack of clothing and seized it. [I]f there is reason to believe that the arrestee had accomplices who are still at large, something less than probable cause - reasonable suspicion - should be sufficient to justify a limited additional intrusion to investigate the possibility of their presence." Id., at 575-576, 531 A. The Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed by a 4-to-3 vote. of Maryland applied an unnecessarily strict Fourth Amendment standard. He was arrested, searched, and handcuffed by Rozar. The type of search we authorize today is far removed from the "top-to-bottom" search involved in Chimel; moreover, it is decidedly not "automati[c]," but may be conducted only when justified by a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the house is harboring a person posing a danger to those on the arrest scene. Beyond that, however, just as in Terry and Long, there must be articulable facts which, taken together with the rational inferences from those facts, would warrant a reasonably prudent officer in believing that the area to be swept harbors an individual posing a danger. Second, the justification for the search incident to arrest in Chimel was the threat posed by the arrestee, not the safety threat posed by the house, or more properly by unseen third parties in the house. The case is remanded for application of the proper standard. The Court today holds that Terry's "reasonable suspicion" standard "strikes the proper balance between officer safety and citizen privacy" for protective sweeps in private dwellings. 2 In any event, the Court's implicit judgment that a protective sweep constitutes a "minimally intrusive" search akin to that involved in Terry markedly undervalues the nature and scope of the privacy interests involved. [ Footnote 2 ] Individual police officers necessarily initiate street encounters without advance planning "for a wide variety of purposes." Terry v. And, of course, officers could select a safer venue for making their arrest. [ Footnote 4 ] The protective sweep in this case may have exceeded the permissible temporal scope defined by the Court. On remand, therefore, the state court need not decide whether the "reasonable suspicion" standard is satisfied in this case should it determine that the sweep of the basement took place after the police had sufficient time to "complete the arrest and depart the premises." Ante, at 336. California, supra, allowing police officers without any requisite level of suspicion to look into "closets and other spaces immediately adjoining the place of arrest from which an attack could be immediately launched," ante, at 334, is equally disquieting.

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Sweeney, Deputy Attorney General of Maryland, argued the cause for petitioner. This admission is made telling by Officer Frolich's participation in the 3-day prearrest surveillance of Buie's home. The Maryland Court of Appeals was under the impression that the search took place after "Buie was safely outside the house, handcuffed and unarmed." 314 Md. Indeed, were the officers concerned about safety, one would expect them to do what Officer Rozar did before the arrest: guard the basement door to prevent surprise attacks. But Officer Frolich did not merely "look in" the basement; he entered it. Moreover, the Maryland Court of Special Appeals suggested that Officer Frolich's search could survive a "reasonable suspicion" test, 72 Md. This comment is necessary, lest by acquiescence the impression be left that JUSTICE STEVENS' views can be interpreted as authoritative guidance for application of our ruling to the facts of the case. [ Footnote 2 ] What more the officers might have done to protect themselves against threats from other places is obviously a question not presented on the facts of this case, and so is not one we can answer.

With him on the brief were Solicitor General Starr, Assistant Attorney General Dennis, Deputy Solicitor General Bryson, and Kathleen A. Moreover, Officer Rozar testified that he was not worried about any possible danger when he arrested Buie. He said only that he "had no idea who lived there." Id., at 15. All of this suggests that no reasonable suspicion of danger justified the entry into the basement. As the Court indicates, Officer Frolich might, at the time of the arrest, reasonably have "look[ed] in" the already open basement door, ante, at 334, to ensure that no accomplice had followed Buie to the stairwell. 499, 516 -518 (1983) (STEVENS, J., dissenting) (This Court should avoid undertaking record review functions that can "better be performed by other judges"). 2d 1290, 1297 (1987), and the Maryland Court of Appeals has not reviewed this conclusion. The concurrence by JUSTICE STEVENS, however, makes the gratuitous observation that the State has a formidable task on remand. Based on my present understanding of the record, I should think the officers' conduct here was in full accord with standard police safety procedure, and that the officers would have been remiss if they had not taken these precautions.

They first had a police department secretary telephone Buie's house to verify that he was home. It is not disputed that until the point of Buie's arrest the police had the right, based on the authority of the arrest warrant, to search anywhere in the house that Buie might have been found, including the basement. According to Buie, because the State has shown neither exigent circumstances to immediately enter Buie's house nor an unforeseen danger that arose once the officers were in the house, there is no excuse for the failure to obtain a search warrant to search for dangerous persons believed to be on the premises. 2 We should emphasize that such a protective sweep, aimed at protecting the arresting officers, if justified by the circumstances, is nevertheless not a full search of the premises, but may extend only to a cursory inspection of those spaces where a person may be found. 752 (1969), where it was held that in the absence of a search warrant, the justifiable search incident to an in-home arrest could not extend beyond the arrestee's person and the area from within which the arrestee might have obtained a weapon.

We accordingly On February 3, 1986, two men committed an armed robbery of a Godfather's Pizza restaurant in Prince George's County, Maryland. That same day, Prince George's County police obtained arrest warrants for respondent Jerome Edward Buie and his suspected accomplice in the robbery, Lloyd Allen. On February 5, the police executed the arrest warrant for Buie. There is also no dispute that if Detective Frolich's entry into the basement was lawful, the seizure of the red running suit, which was in plain view and which the officer had probable cause to believe was evidence of a crime, was also lawful under the Fourth Amendment. Respondent argues that a protective sweep may not be undertaken without a warrant unless the exigencies of the situation render such warrantless search objectively reasonable. This is no more and no less than was required in Terry and Long, and as in those cases, we think this balance is the proper one.

The court stated that Detective Frolich did not go into the basement to search for evidence, but to look for the suspected accomplice or anyone else who might pose a threat to the officers on the scene. But the arrest warrant gave the police every right to enter the home to search for Buie. The State argues that "[o]fficers facing the life threatening situation of arresting a violent criminal in the home should not be forced to pause and ponder the legal subtleties associated with a quantum of proof analysis," Brief for Petitioner 23. The State contends that this case is the "mirror image" of Summers and that the arrest warrant carried with it the authority to search for persons who could interfere with the arrest.

The Court of Special Appeals of Maryland affirmed the trial court's denial of the suppression motion. [ Footnote 1 ] Buie suggests that because the police could have sought a warrant to search for dangerous persons in the house, they were constitutionally required to do so. The intrusion in Mimms - requiring the driver of a lawfully stopped vehicle to exit the car - was "de minimis," 434 U. Summers held that a search warrant for a house carries with it the authority to detain its occupants until the search is completed.

[ Footnote 2 ] The State's argument that no level of objective justification should be required because of "the danger that inheres in the in-home arrest for a violent crime," Brief for Petitioner 23, is rebutted by Terry v. Even in high crime areas, where the possibility that any given individual is armed is significant, Terry requires reasonable, individualized suspicion before a frisk for weapons can be conducted. Here, the existence of the arrest warrant implies nothing about whether dangerous third parties will be found in the arrestee's house. Here, too, the reasonable suspicion standard - "one of the relatively simple concepts embodied in the Fourth Amendment," United States v. [ Footnote 3 ] Our reliance on the cursory nature of the search is not inconsistent with our statement in Arizona v. When the officer in Hicks moved the turntable to look at its serial number, he was searching for evidence plain and simple.

Once inside, the potential for danger justified a standard of less than probable cause for conducting a limited protective sweep. But despite the danger that inheres in on-the-street encounters and the need for police to act quickly for their own safety, the Court in Terry did not adopt a brightline rule authorizing frisks for weapons in all confrontational encounters. In that case, however, the search warrant implied a judicial determination that police had probable cause to believe that someone in the home was committing a crime. 85 (1979), in which we held that, although armed with a warrant to search a bar and bartender, the police could not frisk the bar's patrons absent individualized, reasonable suspicion that the person to be frisked was armed and presently dangerous. 1 (1989) - strikes the proper balance between officer safety and citizen privacy. 321 (1987), that "[a] search is a search," id., at 325, or with our refusal in Hicks to sanction a standard less than probable cause on the ground that the search of a stereo was a "cursory inspection," rather than a "full-blown search," id., at 328.

Officers conducting such a sweep must have a reasonable basis for believing that their search will reduce the danger of harm to themselves or of violent interference with their mission; in short, the search must be protective.

I agree with that holding and with the Court's opinion, but I believe it is important to emphasize that the standard applies only to protective sweeps.

Here, the police had an analogous interest in taking steps to assure themselves that Buie's house was not harboring other persons who were dangerous and who could unexpectedly launch an attack, and the fact that Buie had an expectation of privacy in rooms that were not examined by the police prior to the arrest does not mean that such rooms were immune from entry. 752 - which held that in the absence of a search warrant, the justifiable search incident to an in-home arrest could not extend beyond the arrestee's person and the area from within which he might have obtained a weapon - is distinguished. However, the Maryland courts are better equipped than are we to review the record. The Court deemed such a frisk "reasonable" under the Fourth Amendment in light of the special "need for law enforcement officers to protect themselves and other prospective victims of violence" during investigative detentions, id., at 24, and the "brief, though far from inconsiderable, intrusion upon the sanctity of the person." Id., at 26. 696, 714 (1983) (BRENNAN, J., concurring in result).

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