I'm not really a big law enforcement kinda guy, but where is the "knock and announce" protection in the Constitution? Something the SCOTUS invented along the way? I guess they've had to decide what is "unreasonable." I don't really get what the difference is if you knock or not, if you have a warrant. It might give me time to flush some drugs down the toilet, but how does it provide me any greater rights? They've got a warrant. I don't get it.
Actually you do.
Just busting in violates the due process rights of an innocent door.
The Court did decide that "knock and announce" was implicit in the term "reasonable search." But even Scalia agreed with that part, because that was based on rulings going back to the time the Constitution was ratifed.
I don't really get what the difference is if you knock or not, if you have a warrant. It might give me time to flush some drugs down the toilet, but how does it provide me any greater rights? They've got a warrant. I don't get it.
The courts (including the decisions 200 years ago) gave two reasons for the rule: (1) it protects the police from being shot by someone who thinks they are burglars breaking in, and (2) it protects the homeowner from having his door kicked in if he's willing to open it.
It's an ancient common law principle, predating the 4th Amendment by centuries. Its purpose is to protect the of the homeowner/occupant's property (generally the front door), dignity (giving him time to get un-naked, for instance), and life (eg, so he doesn't get killed while trying to defend himself against unknown intruders).
I guess they've had to decide what is "unreasonable."
Not in this case, but yes, the knock and announce rule is considered to be part of the 4th Amendment's reasonableness requirement (Wilson v Arkansas, 1995). In the present case, there was no question that the 4th Amendment was violated; the state conceded as much. The question was whether evidence suppression is a required remedy for violations of the knock and announce rule. The Court said not necessarily and went with a costs/benefits analysis.
My reaction also. Seems to me as long as the cops have a warrant, that's all they need. Knocking and announcing seem like courtesies that should be left to the cops' discretion to do or not depending on the circumstance.
Oh you know, the other constitution where it says "knock three times, walk around the block, sit on the stoop for ten minutes, then knock three more times, give the password and secret handshake before entering the crackhouse." Dems da rulz, boyz.
As long as the warrant is served on the right house and the alleged criminal is actually guilty. On the other hand if they break in unannounced on an innocent citizen who exercises their 2nd Amendment rights will the SCOTUS hold that they are not at fault for killing or injuring any officers the citizen happens to shoot?
I can guarantee that any unannounced forced entry of my dwelling will be met with all the lethal force I can muster and, should I survive, I will not feel a gnat's whisker of remorse for anyone I dispatch or cripple.