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Adams v. Williams

407 U.S. 143 (1972)

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Adams v. Williams

United States Supreme Court

407 U.S. 143 (1972)

Facts

A police officer was on patrol late at night in a high-crime area when an informant approached him and told him that a man in a nearby car was in possession of drugs and had a gun in his waistband. The officer went to the car, in which Robert Williams (defendant) was sitting with the motor off. The officer tapped on the window and asked Williams to open the door. Williams instead lowered the window, and the officer immediately reached through the window and removed the gun from Williams’s waistband. The officer arrested Williams for unlawful possession of the pistol and, incident to the arrest, searched Williams and the car, finding heroin and more weapons. Williams’s pretrial motion to suppress the gun and the heroin from evidence was denied. At trial, the police officer testified that, prior to the tip concerning Williams, the officer had received one other tip from the informant which had not led to an arrest because it could not be verified. Williams was convicted. The state supreme court affirmed the conviction. The district court denied Williams’s petition for habeas corpus relief, which the court of appeals reversed, granting relief. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

Dissent (Marshall, J.)

Dissent (Brennan, J.)

Dissent (Douglas, J.)

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