Police Stop Based on Rational Inferences

Police may stop a person based on specific and articulable facts that, together with rational inferences from those facts, support a reasonable belief that a person has committed, is committing, or is about to commit an offense. See Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21-22, 20 L. Ed. 2d 889, 88 S. Ct. 1868 (1968); See also Wis. Stat. 968.24 (1997-98). Police also may stop a motorist based on reasonable suspicion of a traffic violation. See State v. Krier, 165 Wis. 2d 673, 678, 478 N.W.2d 63 (Ct. App. 1991). The facts necessary to support a stop must be judged by an objective standard: whether the facts available to the police at the time of the stop would warrant a person of reasonable caution to believe that a stop was appropriate. See Terry, 392 U.S. at 21-22. Whether undisputed facts satisfy the constitutional requirement of reasonableness for a stop presents an issue of law for this court's de novo review. See State v. Griffin, 183 Wis. 2d 327, 331, 515 N.W.2d 535 (Ct. App. 1994).