Newsbrief: Arizona Supreme Court Rules Police Knock and Talk Violates Privacy Rights 6/28/02

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The Arizona Supreme Court has ruled that an aggressive police tactic known as "knock and talk" violates the state constitution.

James Patrick Keenom had been sentenced to 20 years in prison for manufacturing methamphetamine. According to court documents, Detective David Jones had followed him home on suspicions that he was manufacturing the drug due in part to Keenom's long hair and beard and an associate of Keenom's long hair. Jones and another detective, Tony Noblin, appeared at Keenom's house to perform a "knock and talk." Noblin testified that he was doing this to get on the suspect's property in lack of a warrant, which he knew could not be obtained.

Noblin and Jones, accompanied by uniformed officers, proceeded onto Keenom's mother's property after talking to her despite "no trespassing" signs and the absence of her consent to stay on the property. Jones refused to consent to a search and asked if he could be released to return to his trailer home. After a long period of questioning, the officers coaxed Keenom into admitting that he had methamphetamine in his possession and that he had allowed friends to use his home for manufacturing the drug in the past. The officers arrested Keenom and searched his house, citing that they had seen the curtains moving, which could have meant an accomplice was present in Keenom's trailer.

The court ruled that Keenom's conviction be overturned because the evidence which implicated him in methamphetamine manufacturing, which included lab materials, was obtained illegally. According to the court, Keenom did not feel free to leave and the detectives' refusal to terminate the encounter or leave Keenom's property, despite his specific requests that they do so, made the seizure unconstitutional.

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Issue #243, 6/28/02 Editorial: The Specter of Coming Violence | DRCNet Interview: Roger Goodman, Voluntary Committee of Lawyers | DRCNet Book Review: Drug War Heresies | Supreme Court Allows Drug Testing All Students in Extracurriculars | Slim Supreme Court Majority Upholds But Also Criticizes Mandatory Minimum Sentencing | New York Rockefeller Law Reform Dies This Year as Pataki, Democrats Deadlock | Vermont Governor Quietly Signs Compromise Medical Marijuana Bill | Newsbrief: Unitarians Approve Anti-Drug War Platform | Newsbrief: Fatal Drug Overdoses on the Rise in Florida | Newsbrief: New York Pharmacies Fail to Distribute Sterile Syringes | Newsbrief: Arizona Supreme Court Rules Police Knock and Talk Violates Privacy Rights | Newsbrief: Kansas Sentencing Commission Wants to Focus on Prevention | Newsbrief: Illinois Juvenile Drug Courts Given a Green Light | Newsbrief: Medical Marijuana Distributor Angers Judge in California | Newsbrief: UN Reports Drug Use on the Rise Worldwide | Newsbrief: Scottish Police to Ignore Marijuana Use | Web Scan: Uniform Crime Report, World Prison Population List, Transnational Institute, Imani Woods, CDC, WorldNet Daily | The Reformer's Calendar

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