Does An Anonymous Tip Coupled With Another Verification of Reasonable Suspision of Criminal Activity Justify a Terry Stop ?
In Commonwealth v. Kue, 547 Pa. 668, 692 A.2d 1076 (1997), the police received a radio report that an Asian male, who was wearing a striped shirt, was "armed with a gun" and standing at a particular street corner.
Three minutes after receiving the report, the officer arrived at the street corner referred to in the tip.
He saw four Asian males standing on the corner, and he proceeded to stop and frisk each of them.
During the course of the frisk the police officer discovered that appellant Kue was carrying a gun tucked in his waist band.
The source of the tip was never determined, but the evidence was not suppressed by the Municipal Court.
A writ of certiorari to the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia was denied and our court affirmed, holding that the police had met the constitutional requirements for a lawful Terry stop.
Again the Supreme Court reversed.
Justice Flaherty wrote:
In order for police to act on an anonymous tip, the Terry requirement of reasonable suspicion of criminal activity must still be satisfied and must be independent of the telephone tip itself.