Court to rule on when police may frisk detainee's companions

Posted at 4:51 AM, Dec 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-14 07:12:55-05

The Arizona Supreme Court has agreed to consider when police may frisk companions of somebody legally taken into custody.

The justices agreed Tuesday to review a Court of Appeals decision that said police cannot routinely frisk a lawfully detained person's companions.

But the Court of Appeals decision also said officers in potentially dangerous situations can conclude that frisking a detained person's companions is a reasonable precaution for officer safety based on circumstances.

The decision said the circumstances can include the nature of a person's companionship with a suspected criminal, the environment and how many officers are present.

The appeal is on behalf of a man who contends his marijuana possession conviction stemmed from an unlawful search that violated his Fourth Amendment privacy rights.

Lower courts upheld his conviction.