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Criminal Procedure Keyed to Dressler
Maryland v. Buie
Citation:494 U.S. 325, 110 S.Ct. 1093, 108 L.Ed.2d 276.
Two men committed an armed robbery of a pizza restaurant. One of the robbers was wearing a red running suit. That same day, the police obtained arrest warrants for the defendant and his suspected accomplice in the robbery, Lloyd Allen.
Once confirming that the defendant was at home, six or seven officers proceeded to his house. Once inside, the officers fanned out through the first and second floors. An officer announced that he would “freeze” the basement so that no one could come up and surprise the officers. With his service revolver drawn, the officer twice shouted into the basement, ordering anyone down there to come out. When a voice asked who was calling, the officer announced three times: “this is the police, show me your hands.” Eventually, a pair of hands appeared around the bottom of the stairwell and the defendant emerged from the basement. He was arrested, searched, and handcuffed. Another officer entered the basement “in case there was someone else” down there. He noticed a red running suit lying in plain view on a stack of clothing and seized it.
The defendant filed a motion to suppress the evidence of the red running suit, and the trial court denied it. The Court of Appeals of Maryland reversed and held that the motion should be granted, concluding that the officers did not have enough justification to perform a protective sweep of the basement.
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