Hudson v. Michigan

The case of Hudson v. Michigan examines the 4th amendment’s “knock and announce” rule. Knock and announce states that when police show up to enter ones home they must knock on the door and announce their presence and wait approximately 30 seconds before entering the home. When police obtained a warrant to search Booker Hudson’s residence, they knocked on the door to announce their presence and waited only a few seconds before barging in the home to complete their search. Inside Hudson’s home police found a firearm and cocaine and charged him with drug and firearm possession. When Hudson was taken to court for the drug and firearm charges, he claimed that the charges against him must be dropped because the police violated his 4th amendment rights by charging into his home with only a few seconds warning. The trial judge sided with Hudson and claimed that the charges could not be brought against him as the police officers conducting the search did not adhere to the knock and announce rule properly. Hudson’s case was then taken to the Michigan Court of Appeals where the ruling was reversed and the drug and firearm charges were brought against Hudson. To appeal the ruling Hudson went to the Supreme Court to fight the charges. He stated to the Supreme Court that the cocaine and firearm found in his home could not be used against him as they were obtained illegally by police. The Supreme Court was then forced to answer whether or not evidence found in a home after police violate the knock and announce rule can be used in court. The court was split 5-4 on their decision and the majority stated that evidence found after violating the knock and announce rule can be used. Justice Scalia gave the majority opinion and claimed that the knock and announce rule was instated to prevent violence and give American’s a sense of privacy in their home. However, Scalia states that if police come to a home with a valid warrant to search the property then it does not matter if the knock and announce rule is violated.

The court’s ruling on this case is upsetting to me as it is another example of power being taken from citizens and given to police. The 4th amendment and knock and announce were instilled to give Americans a sense of safety and privacy in their homes from the government. If police can just completely ignore the knock and announce rule, conduct a search, and use the evidence found in court why is the rule in place? I can clearly understand why the evidence found in Hudson’s home was used against him. He possessed both an illegal firearm and an illegal drug and whether the search was legal or not, the two items were both found in his home nonetheless. However, if the government is going to give the American population certain rights, I believe we are entitled to those rights. Below is an attached picture that shows the frustration people felt over the Supreme Court’s ruling in the Hudson v. Michigan case. This is just another example of police acting as if they are above the laws we have in place in the the United States.

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