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Indiana Senate backs bill on right to resist police

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The Indiana Senate on Monday approved by a wide margin a proposal that gives residents limited rights to resist police officers trying to enter their homes.

The Senate voted 45-5 to back the bill that follows a public uproar after the Indiana Supreme Court ruled in May that residents could not use force to resist police officers even during an illegal entry.

Supporters say the bill is narrowly crafted to set out homeowners' rights, while police and prosecutors worry it could increase the risk for violence.

The bill would allow residents to resist if the police officer wasn't identified or on official duty. Officers would be allowed to enter homes when they have court warrants, are chasing a criminal suspect, believe someone inside is in danger or have permission from the residents.

The court's 3-2 ruling brought Indiana law in line with most other states. But about 250 people attended a Statehouse rally against the decision, contending it infringed on their constitutional rights and contradicted centuries of common law precedent regarding homeowners' rights and the limits of police power.

Sponsor Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, said the bill aims to draw a "bright line" on what residents and police officers can do.

"This Supreme Court ruling is a ruling that defended the government against its citizens," Young told the Senate. "We're attempting to find common ground here in which we balance our citizens' rights to protect themselves" with the safety of police officers.

The court decision came in a case in which an Evansville man was convicted of misdemeanor resisting arrest for blocking and shoving a police officer who tried to enter his home without a warrant after his wife called 911 during an argument. The man was shocked with a stun gun and arrested. His wife told officers he hadn't hit her.

Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, said the bill seemed to encourage violence against officers rather than using the courts to contest illegal police actions.

The proposal now moves to the House for consideration.

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  • Really Mike
    Really Mike, Bosma is the problem. How about the loser Dems who can't show up to do their jobs, and their loser leader with the BAD toupee! Indiana is only one of a few states that are in the black. We need more leaders like him. Regarding Right To Work. When are you idiots going to see that it is helping workers, and gives THEM their rights back not to have to pay the unions that do NOTHING for them.
  • Um... who knew this was a problem?
    I'm just a little concerned that we need this piece of legislation. Are cops running into homes illegally all over the state so much that we need to waste our senators time drafting this? I've never even heard of this happening. Where is this coming from? If cops are doing this all over the place, don't you think that they should be dealt with by their departments and supervisors? Why don't you spend more time getting the homeless people off the street and creating more jobs for hoosiers?
  • right to resist
    why does"nt our state Senate put on a police uniform and walk the streets and patrol our neighborhoods, get a real look at what our police officers do. our senate and house are a real joke, mainly Bosma and his band of followers. next election send them looking for areal job. all they"ve done for our state, is take our rights AWAY--RIGHT TO WORK --SMOKING---SCHOOLS--THANKS MITCH
  • Home Protection
    The State Legislature only needed to look at the total number of weapons sold during the fourth quarter of 2011, and the total number of concealed carry permits issued to realize that average citizens were not going to wait on the courts or our state government to correct a foolish decision. People are tired of the Police State created following 9/11. Enough already! Knocking down doors may work in other countries, however we have a Bill of Rights and Constitution that directs what our citizens can do to protect themselves from illegal entry into their home, even by the police.

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