New Indiana Law Gives Residents Right to Resist Police

Caroline Cournoyer

It’s 2 a.m. and you wake up to the sight and sound of a police officer, but you didn’t call the police. Are you allowed to shoot him or her for unlawfully entering your home? If you live in Indiana, maybe.

As of March 20, Indiana law gives residents the right to resist police — even with deadly force — if they’re acting unlawfully. “So far as we know, this is the first one [law] where … you have the right to shoot them [law enforcement] if you feel they’re unlawfully entering the property,” said Tim Richardson, the senior legislative liaison for the National Fraternal Order of Police.

More than half of states have so-called castle doctrine laws, which give people the right to defend themselves against intruders in their homes, but Indiana is one of few, if not the only, state where law enforcement officials aren’t exempt.

The new law places the burden to decide what’s legal on the people — a task that most citizens (who lack law enforcement or legal training) aren’t capable of, according to police officials.

The state and national police unions fought hard to kill the bill, but Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels signed it anyway — though not without warning. According to the Indianapolis Star, he said, “This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers … so don’t try anything.” But that, officers fear, is exactly what people may think…

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H/T Judge Andrew Napolitano

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