August 25, 2013

The issues regarding “stop-and-frisk” policing [“Should ‘stop-and-frisk’ be stopped?,” letters, Aug. 23] seem to revolve around the difference between “probable” and “possible” cause.

Two summers ago my car was stolen from an unmonitored Metro garage. This happened at night, and the car would have gone the way of many dismembered automobiles had it not been for Prince George’s County detectives patrolling an area near the boundary between the District and the county. They came across a small group of young men standing near a corner and frisked them. The keys to my car were found in the pocket of one of the young men, who said that a “friend” had given them to him.

The car was then found about a mile away, banged up and out of gas. It would not have been located if the detectives had not “stopped and frisked.” Was this a “possible” or a “probable” cause? Whatever it was, in my view, it was justified.

Marilyn A. Austin, Olney