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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Prof. handcuffed to demonstrate procedure

    Professor Jack Chin participated in a mock search and seizure in conjunction with UAPD behind the James E. Rogers College of Law yesterday afternoon.
    Professor Jack Chin participated in a mock ‘search and seizure’ in conjunction with UAPD behind the James E. Rogers College of Law yesterday afternoon.

    A UA law professor was handcuffed yesterday by UAPD officers to demonstrate search and seizure procedures to more than 80 onlookers.

    Clad in an American flag bandana, a green jacket with psychedelic stickers and a Lynyrd Skynyrd shirt, professor Jack Chin staged a mock search encounter, known as a Terry stop, at the James E. Rogers College of Law with University of Arizona Police Department officers.

    The goal of the simulation was to demonstrate to law students what suspect frisking is like in the real world.

    The demonstration was important “”because the paper and the street are so different,”” Chin said.

    Chin said the demonstration gives students a firsthand look at what police, perpetrators and bystanders experience outside of the courtroom.

    “”It’s different to really put yourself in the situation,”” he added.

    Chin assumed the role of a “”suspicious-looking person”” and played the part of a man who had something to hide.

    UAPD officers Kyle Morrison and Cpl. Jason Dehmer questioned Chin and handcuffed him after he struggled with the officers.

    “”We’re just detaining you now because you’re getting a little frisky,”” Dehmer said.

    A search of Chin’s backpack revealed a set of tools and a woman’s purse.

    After the officers discovered there was a “”warrant”” for Chin’s arrest, he was taken to the police vehicle and thoroughly searched.

    Students in Chin’s criminal procedure class said they were glad to step out of the classroom and see a realistic demonstration.

    “”It’s nice to see it in a real-life context,”” said Jennifer Copenhaver-Celi, a first-year law student.

    Many of the onlookers chuckled as Chin appeared in his suspicious person garb.

    “”It’s funny because he’s in a suit and tie every day,””

    Copenhaver-Celi said. “”It’s nice to see he took on the role to such a great extent.””

    During the question-and-answer period that followed the demonstration, the officers explained how the criterion varies for each Terry stop.

    “”You have to take it on a case by case basis,”” Dehmer said.

    A Terry stop is a “”stop and frisk”” by an officer when a person is behaving in a way that arouses reasonable suspicion.

    Law enforcement officers must be sure before arresting someone after probable cause has been determined, Dehmer said.

    “”I’d always err on the side of caution,”” Dehmer said. “”Even with the purse there and the tools, I want that little bit more.””

    This is the third such demonstration Chin has put on for his students. Each time, he has added more elements to his costume and performance to achieve a greater authenticity, he said.

    Chin said he got the idea for the mock police encounter from a law book that suggested bringing a police officer into class to demonstrate a frisking.

    He added that UAPD has been especially helpful in teaching students about law enforcement firsthand.

    “”One of the great things about teaching at the UA is the UA Police Department,”” he said.

    In addition to the demonstration, students will have the opportunity to ride along with a police officer and to be interrogated by a detective, Chin said.

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