This footage was submitted by a homeowner in Loraine, Ohio, showing police officers enter onto a woman’s private property and refusing to leave. They demand that she send her kids outside, because the officers allege that they observed them jaywalking. Her doorbell footage shows otherwise. I’ve previously discussed what you need to know when police are at your door.
Under the “knock and talk” exception to the warrant requirement, a police officer not armed with a warrant may approach a home and knock, precisely because that is “no more than any private citizen might do.” This means there is an “implicit license . . . to approach the home by the front path, knock promptly, wait briefly to be received, and then (absent invitation to linger longer) leave.” An officer may also bypass the front door (or another entry point usually used by visitors) when circumstances reasonably indicate that the officer might find the homeowner elsewhere on the property. “Critically, however, the right to knock and talk does not entail a right to conduct a general investigation of the home’s curtilage.”
Police officers, and anyone else really, have an implied license to come onto your property and knock on your door. This implied license can be revoked. Homeowners can prevent ordinary citizens and police officers alike from conducting a knock and talk by revoking their implied license to be there. However, few citizens know that an implied license exists. Generally, the courts require that a homeowner do so by clear demonstrations or express orders. For instance, asking someone to leave or refusing to answer questions.
Here’s an excerpt of the police report in this particular case, posted with the original video:
On February 15th, 2023 I was operating as a member of the Lorain Patrol Impact Team targeting high crime areas throughout the City of Lorain, Ohio. I was driving an unmarked Ford Taurus equipped with emergency lights and sirens. I was also dressed in plain clothes with “Police” identifiers displayed on the exterior of my vest, making myself readily identifiable as a Police Officer. It should be known that ATF Special Agent Fabrizio was also in my patrol vehicle at this time. On this date at approximately 1539 hours, we were patrolling the intersection of W. 27th Street and Reid Avenue. It should be noted that on 7/26/2022 a shooting had occurred between a group of juveniles in the area of 126 W. 27th Street and the surrounding area is a known hot spot for shots fired incidents and weapons violation complaints. While patrolling this intersection, S.A. Fabrizio and I observed three males who appeared to be juveniles with there hands in both hooded sweatshirt pockets and their waistbands while looking around their immediate area. Through my prior training and experience, this type of behavior is an indicator that the person may be both armed and checking their surroundings.
S.A. Fabrizio and went around the block to the intersection of W. 27th Street and Broadway Avenue and observed the males illegally cross the road not in a posted cross walk and began approaching the residence of 126 W. 27th Street. Due to this observed traffic violation, I approached the above listed residence and activated my emergency lights and sirens in an attempt to initiate a traffic stop for this violation on the three individuals while they were approaching the house in the front yard. S.A. Fabrizio exited the passenger side and advised the males to stop and to come back to our patrol vehicle. The males acknowledged our presence by looking back at our patrol vehicle and quickly made their way up the front steps to the residence and entered and refused to exit. A female (later identified as Mary Hildreth) came to the front door and began yelling at both S.A. Fabrizio and I as well as asking what we were doing and what the problem was.