Violations of the Knock-and-Announce Rule
The exclusionary rule positions that any evidence obtained by officers in a way that violates the Fourth Amendment and its guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure is not able to be used in a criminal trial to prove guilt (del Carmen, R.V. Hemmens, C., 2017). The knock-and-announce rule is a part of the Fourth Amendment right and is used to protect the public against such things as unreasonable searches (del Carmen, R.V. Hemmens, C., 2017). When it comes to violating the rights, it is determined that the knock-and-announce rule can be violated if it is determined to be necessary to the officers.
The Knock-and-Announce Rule is regular part of the procedure when police officers are executing a search warrant (del Carmen, R.V. Hemmens, C., 2017). Police officers must knock and identify themselves and why they are there and then wait a reasonable amount of time for the resident to let them in (Carlson, 2015). They should not just break down the door and rush in. The Knock-and-Announce rule is apart of the Fourth Amendment protecting the rights against unreasonable searches and seizures (Carlson, 2015).
However, there are times when it is determined to be unreasonable for police officers to announce their presence at suspects residences. If there is a threat to their safety, then they will not knock because it could give those inside the chance to get to weapons (Carlson, 2015). If the officers are searching for evidence that could easily be destroyed before they could get inside they will rush in to prevent that. All of the situations are determined on a case by case basis and officers have to sometime make split second decisions about what they should do in each case (del Carmen, R.V. Hemmens, C., 2017).
In many cases where police officers do not announce their presence those they arrest try and fight back against the charges. These charged with the crimes try to protest that it is a violation of their rights to enter without the officers announcing their presence. However, most times the courts will side with the officers and not give those charged a break.
The first case of this is United States v. Banks. On July 15, 1998, police officers arrived at the home of suspected drug dealer Lashawn Banks. The officers waited around 15 to 20 seconds and when Lashawn Banks did not come to the door they broke it down with a ram (540 US 31, 2003). Banks was then arrested and before his trial he filed a motion to suppress the evidence that was found in his apartment because he believed that the forced entry of the officers was unlawful. However, the motion was denied, and he plead guilty to the charges. Banks got a new attorney and tried to take back his plea of guilty on the advice of the Attorney (540 US 31, 2003). The attorney argued that the search was unconstitutional since the officers did not wait the required amount of time before breaking down the door and didn’t have any reason to not wait since there was no threat to themselves (540 US 31, 2003). A circuit Court of Appeals agreed and ruled the search unconstitutional and threw the evidence found during the search out. The Supreme Court determined that there was no violation of rights and that 15 to 20 seconds was a reasonable time to wait before breaking down the door (540 US 31, 2003). Waiting any longer could have given those inside a chance to destroy evidence that would have been critical to the case. Violations of the Knock-and-Announce rule in cases like this are okay because there is a clear reason for them (540 US 31, 2003). If officers are going to the residence of an individual who is known to sell drugs, then they don’t want to wait to long to enter the residence because that would give those inside extra time to destroy the evidence that may be available (del Carmen, R.V. Hemmens, C., 2017).
Another case that deals with the this is the case of Hudson v. Michigan. Police officers arrived at the home of Booker T. Hudson to serve a search warrant but did not obey the knock and announce rule (547 US 586, 2006). They broke down the door and found cocaine and a firearm in Hudson’s possession. The trial judge ruled that the evidence could not be used because it was seized illegally. However, the Michigan court of appeals decided that based on two Michigan Supreme Court cases that there is no reason to suppress evidence when the evidence would have been easily found (547 US 586, 2006). In a decision by the United States Supreme Court they ruled that evidence did not need to be excluded when there is a violation of the knock and announce rule by police officers. The knock and announce rule is meant to prevent property damage, violence, and intrusions on privacy (547 US 586, 2006). It has nothing to do with the evidence that is found after an officer violates the rule and enters with a search warrant. The courts said that if defendants wanted to get something out of the violations to the knock and announce rule they should try and get the officers disciplined or file a civil suit.
The Knock and Announce rule is in place to prevent damage to resident property, injury to officers or residents and is not in place to give residents time to get a weapon or to destroy evidence. If a police officer finds it necessary to violate the rule, then it is usually for a good reason and is argued so in the cases mentioned above. I believe it is important for officers to be able to determine in a short amount of time if it is necessary to violate the rule or not. The violations in these cases are all worthy because there was a chance that evidence could have been lost if action was not taken immediately. Anyway, in real situations like these I would rather the police act in the safest choice for them than to worry about breaking a rule. If the police didn’t announce themselves there is a possibility that the police or the people in the house could be shot or even killed because someone didn’t want to announce that they are the police. At a lot of times, people that are in these types of houses will be more likely to turn on the others for a lesser sentence in the pen.
In conclusion, police have the right not to announce their presence at the residence. For a lot of people that are not police they might see this as unfair and really unsafe within the community for them to do something like. If you look at how different police departments work together as a team to go in to make sure that they have the bad man or women in custody. They have this code to keep the community safe and work together to ensure that all is well with the community on their watch.
Violations of the Knock-and-Announce Rule