NC Court: Officers’ shortcut across yard soiled evidence
RALEIGH, NC (AP) — The North Carolina Court of Appeals says police unlawfully obtained evidence at a home because officers took a late-night shortcut through the suspect’s yard, instead of walking up the driveway.
Tuesday’s split decision by a three-judge panel discusses how police must act when performing a “knock and talk” at someone’s home to collect information about a possible crime.
Judge Chris Brook wrote that Gastonia officers lacking a search warrant exceeded the “background social norms” expected of a traveling salesman or another visitor.
A trial judge refused to suppress the evidence.
The suspect pleaded guilty to charges but appealed.