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The procedure known as “knock and talk” allows police to approach a dwelling, knock on the door, and ask questions of the inhabitant with the goal of obtaining entry into the dwelling. This is a popular policing technique because probable cause or a warrant is not required. This Note analyzes the effect of knock and talk on conceptions of privacy and space held by those most frequently targeted: low income and minority individuals. It argues that the curtilage doctrine, which protects the area surrounding the home, does not assist these individuals. In addition, this Note demonstrates that knock and talk can be abused in two ways: through improperly obtained consent and police-created exigent circumstances. Finally, this Note argues that the use of knock and talk undermines efforts at community policing and has the potential to harm the population it supposedly protects.


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7 Sep 2022
261 kB



  • Subject
    • Civil Rights and Discrimination

    • Law Enforcement and Corrections

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Journal of Law & Social Justice

  • Volume
    • 32

  • Issue
    • 1

  • Date submitted

    7 September 2022