State v. Friend, 237 N.C. App. 490 (Dec. 2, 2014)

In an assault on an officer case, the court rejected the defendant’s argument that evidence of his two assaults on law enforcement officers should be excluded as fruits of the poisonous tree because his initial arrest for resisting an officer was unlawful. The doctrine does not exclude evidence of attacks on police officers where those attacks occur while the officers are engaging in conduct that violates a defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights; “[a]pplication of the exclusionary rule in such fashion would in effect give the victims of illegal searches a license to assault and murder the officers involved[.]” (quotation omitted). Thus the court held that even if the initial stop and arrest violated the defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights, evidence of his subsequent assaults on officers were not “fruits” under the relevant doctrine.