Friday, July 30, 2010

Indiana has a state constitution, part II

In Lacey v. State, No. 02A05-0910-CR-562 (Ind. App. July 27, 2010), the Indiana Court of Appeals relying on its state constitution holds that an unjustified violation of the "knock and announce" requirement related to execution of a search warrant requires suppression, notwithstanding the SCOTUS' differing view under the Fourth Amendment:
Although police officers at times confront emerging exigent circumstances, to which an emergency response is appropriate under the Indiana Constitution, the instant situation did not involve exigencies arising when there was no opportunity to seek judicial sanction for a "no-knock" entry. As Sergeant Strausborger explained, "no-knock" entries into a residence increase the potential for violence against police officers due to misapprehension of circumstances by the occupants. In light of our Indiana Supreme Court‟s pronouncement in Holder, acknowledging that intrusions based upon security concerns will be tolerated only "so long as they are reasonably aimed toward those concerns," we believe that such entries should remain rare and, where practicable, subject to review by a detached and neutral judicial officer.

Here, we are not concerned with a decision to disregard the "knock and announce" requirement predicated upon emerging exigent circumstances. Rather, we are concerned with an emergency response team policy that authorizes a unilateral decision to enter into a home without knocking when there has been no independent determination regarding the circumstances. As such, we find that suppression is the appropriate remedy for dealing with this Indiana constitutional violation.

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