Indiana Governor Signs Bill Allowing Citizens To Use Deadly Force Against Police Officers Into Law

Author: March 23, 2012 12:49 pm

Republican Governor Mitch Daniels has signed Senate Enrolled Act 1 into law in Indiana. The new law allows citizens to use deadly force against police officers they think are illegally entering their homes. Earlier this month, Addicting Info reported  that the bill had passed the Senate. Republicans say the bill is designed to keep police safe, but Democrats say the bill will lead to the wanton killing of police officers.

Rep. Craig Fry, a Democrat, says the bill “is going to cause people to die and it’s too late after somebody dies for a jury to sort it out. Somebody’s going to die, whether it’s a police officer or an individual who thinks a police officer is entering their home unlawfully. People are going to die.”

Fry’s colleague, Democratic Rep. Linda Lawson, a former police captain, says the bill would create an “open season on law enforcement,” and it is opposed by “1,250 state police officers and 14,000 men and women in blue, brown and green.”

The new law reverses a state Supreme Court ruling that homeowners do not have the right to use force against law enforcement officials who they believe are illegally entering their homes. According to the Evansville Courier Press, an Evansville resident fought a police officer who followed him into his house during a domestic dispute call. “The state Supreme Court found that officers sometimes enter homes without warrants for reasons protected by the law, such as pursuing suspects or preventing the destruction of evidence. In these situations, we find it unwise to allow a homeowner to adjudge the legality of police conduct in the heat of the moment,” the court said. “As we decline to recognize a right to resist unlawful police entry into a home, we decline to recognize a right to batter a police officer as a part of that resistance.”

While announcing his decision to sign the bill into law, Governor Daniels tried to claim that the law doesn’t declare an open season on police officers.

“Today is an important day to say: Indiana’s outstanding law enforcement officers put their lives on the line every day to protect all Hoosiers. The right thing to do is cooperate with them in every way possible. This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers. In fact, it restricts when an individual can use force, specifically deadly force, on an officer, so don’t try anything. Chances are overwhelming you will be breaking the law and wind up in far worse trouble as a result.”

But Governor Daniels is merely attempting to put political spin on a bad bill. Indeed, Daniels admits that he nearly vetoed it precisely because the bill could be grossly misinterpreted and could lead to killings of police and citizens. This law is basically a loophole for citizens to kill police officers and claim self-defense. There are many people out there who think no police officers have the right to enter homes or property, even if there is a warrant.

As the state Supreme Court said, sometimes police officers have to enter homes to prevent the destruction of evidence or to prevent someone from grabbing a weapon in their home to use against police or someone else. Sometimes police must pursue suspects in their homes. But this bill reverses that ruling and gives those suspects the legal authority to slay police officers. It’s the equivalent of Florida’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law that led to the killing of Trayvon Martin. In that incident, George Zimmerman believed he had the legal right to gun down a kid for walking through the neighborhood simply for being a young African American male strolling around the community at night. Zimmerman, believing the innocent boy to be a threat, followed him and then shot him to death. Because of the Florida law, Zimmerman remains a free man because he can claim self-defense. This Indiana law will allow people to do the same thing to police officers on their property and in their homes. It makes the already dangerous job of law enforcement even more dangerous and will ultimately lead to the legal murder of police officers who are just trying to do their job.


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  • We The People

    First,let me say as a retired police officer,there are good,and bad cops,like any profession.Many more good than bad,but,the bad ones are out there.

    After reading the bill,it clearly states that this law affects any officer(s) Unlawfully Entering . All officers know if they are acting within the law or not,and if they are in doubt if they are acting within the law,then don’t enter,and call for a supervisor,and backup.

    I was shot twice in the line of duty,but it was not for unlawful entry,or violating a citizen’s rights .I have seen other officers make unlawful entries many times,so,I know it happens. It even happened to me after I retired .

    Most police officers are good,and just tying to do a job,and some are very badge heavy. Others just do what they’re told by supervisors,and don’t question an unlawful order.As a police officer you MUST think for yourself,and listen to your gut.I ,in several situations,questioned unlawful orders,or commands from supervisors.Orders that I knew were illegal.

    Most officers won’t do that.Most just do what they’re told to do.I knew a law like this would come into play one day. Being a victim as a civilian whose rights were violated, via unlawful entry,I know how it feels.

    I believe any law abiding officer will be safe with this law .For those who continue to violate citizen’s rights,and break the very laws they swore to uphold,will perhaps,think twice before making an ILLEGAL entry !

    We all must remember,and remind ourselves,that the police,like the military,work for the government .Most start out trying to do what is right,but,as time passes on,some develop bad habits,and fail to question,and refuse unlawful orders from supervisors.This is where the thin blue line comes into play.You’re then given a choice.You’re either with them,or you’re against them.There is no in between.When you say no,you’ll never get backup when you call for help.You are basically alone,and on your own ,treated as an outcast.

    It’s called sitting on the fence. I did it for 20 years,and retired early .Even the good cops,( your buddies),will be ordered NOT to back you up,and comply,for fear of becoming an outcast,or losing their job,or life !

    It is a tough job,you do for pennies,because you like it,and then it becomes impossible to do your job .

    I pray,I’m never put in the position of an unlawful entry again,and I Don’t live in Indiana ! I won’t like it,but,I will defend my home,and family from ANY unlawful entry .

  • So I guess the Republicans have run out of new targets to attack, but the police…? Wow!! Just who is remaining in their ‘base’?

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