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Indiana Governor Signs 'Right To Resist' Law

March 22, 2012  | 

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. CC_Flickr: pjern
Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels. CC_Flickr: pjern

Indiana's Gov. Mitch Daniels has signed a law giving citizens the right to resist unlawful police actions and causing alarm among law enforcement officers.

Gov. Daniels on Tuesday signed into law Senate Bill 1, which allows people to resist if they reasonably think police are illegally entering their home or vehicle and force is the only way to protect themselves or someone else from harm. The law doesn't apply to citizens who act as the aggressor or commit a crime, and the citizen must first try to cool things down by withdrawing from the encounter with the police.

Indiana law enforcement officers have said the bill could be used as an excuse by criminals to target police. Gov. Daniels said he believes the law helps law enforcement.

"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, so don't try anything," Gov. Daniels told the Indianapolis Star.


Ind. Bill On Resisting Police Moves Forward

Ind. Bill Could Bring Open Season on Cops

Comments (39)

Displaying 1 - 39 of 39

Jeff B @ 3/22/2012 3:40 PM

" don't try anything."

Good advice from a guy who is clearly clueless.

James @ 3/22/2012 4:52 PM

F.I.D.O for all

Commander Griffin @ 3/22/2012 4:57 PM

This Bill will no doubt bring problems to LE. What is lawfull and what is not, surely will be misunderstood by most citizens. Gov, you dropped the ball on this one.

Lee @ 3/22/2012 4:59 PM

Wow, this guy is truly a dumbass!

Jack Betz @ 3/22/2012 5:17 PM

TO play devils avdocate for a while, I'll quote David Hunter in his book " THe moon is always full" it is legal to resist an unlawful arrest in Tenn. It is just not very smart.

Rick @ 3/22/2012 5:24 PM

Time for LEO's to make sure they are raiding the correct residence instead of barging into the wrong residence, scaring innocent people and then leaving. Don't blame citizens for being scared; Blame the idiot judge that earlier this year handed down the ruling that citizens cannot resist a peace officer from entering their home even if the LEO is wrongfully entering the residence and blame the LEO's in AZ that gunned down the Marine that resisted them as they entered the wrong residence...or the FBI team that raided a ladies house and broke down the door with a chainsaw.

slobull @ 3/22/2012 5:53 PM

Oh man, I'm not the only one this dip has to be a Obama supporter. I hope some one fires up the dumb stick and this sucker runs into it.

Bill @ 3/22/2012 6:39 PM

I don't know about this law, is Joe Citizen going to actually read this law and understand it or misinterpret it and get himself or an LEO hurt of killed? This is a two-edged sword...are the 3 subjects in tactical gear with AR's and shotguns real police or home invaders impersonating cops to further their criminal intentions? If you are Joe Honest citizen and this is happening to you, what do you do? Do the cops have the wrong house or are these ruthless thugs who if not stopped will hurt or kill you or your family? Tough questions... If I knew they were real cops I'd say, do what you're told, get cuffed, stuffed, whatever and then file the lawsuit later. If they're the bad guys...???

Bruce @ 3/22/2012 7:07 PM

I may be wrong, but don't you guys/gals already have this right written into your Constitution? Illegal Police activity is definitely challengeable here in the UK. Less armed LEO's though, so it's probably safer ;)

DJackson @ 3/22/2012 7:34 PM

The governor of Indiana is an idiot. Time for cops to walk off the job and let the dopes who voted for these idiots to fend for themselves. If that's the kind of law they want, let 'em reap what they sow.

Lead Farmer @ 3/22/2012 7:35 PM

@Bruce,, here in the US illegal police activity ends up with a dead citizen and the cop getting a medal of honor. This bill is necessary, however there probably will be some idiot criminals who will try and resist a lawful entry and either get himself killed or an officer. Honest citizens are tired of getting treated like criminals by the police and want some protections from their lawmakers. The whole police state culture in the US has to change so that these type of laws aren't necessary.

Bob @ 3/22/2012 7:57 PM

Wow. Can't believe this is coming from a Republican. One who has been suggested as a late entry candidate for the 2012 GOP Presidential nomination, at that. Between him and Ron Paul, we are all out of jobs!

Lee @ 3/22/2012 8:46 PM

@Lead Farmer,,,You're kidding right? Are you in Law Enforcement? LEO's should treat every situation the same. There is no telling what a situation can hold in store for you. The things LEO's encounter on a daily basis forces them have their guard up, until they can assess and ascertain what is actually taking place..This law is ridiculous. Yes illegal police activity is, well...ILLEGAL...Does there need to be a law stating that people can forcefully resisit? No, because betty home maker is probably not gong to understand the law and If I make entry into her home for a warrant I am serving on her son I could meet the end of a barrel upon entry and when she goes to court all she has to say is.."I didn't hear them say we have a warrent, and I thought they were coming in wrongfully and unjustified, they had guns drawn so I defended myself". Idiotic at best...

Lee @ 3/22/2012 8:48 PM

Sorry for the misspelling...

Sam @ 3/22/2012 9:08 PM

Rick, I think you might want to check your facts on the Marine that Pima SWAT had to shoot. You can contact Gov. Daniels via email on the Indiana Governor's website. I think it would do him good to hear from a few thousand of us. Politely, of course. If your from Indiana, looks like you need some new representatives and senators. Good luck to all the brothers and sisters in blue there.

ET @ 3/22/2012 10:45 PM

"This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers."
It may not be so according to the governor, but certainly criminals and hostile citizens may definitely be emboldened to use force against LEOs. If you think it's bad that people abuse the complaint process, this law will only make it worse. Only in this case we'd likely see more people (both citizens and LEOs) getting hurt and killed.

"In fact, it restricts when an individual can use force, specifically deadly force, so don't try anything."
So in other words, this law really does nothing, because citizens are already not obligated to follow an unlawful order given by an LEO. Is it because there aren't any existing laws which dictate what's legal and illegal for LEOs to do, that the state has to specifically write a law saying it's okay to resist a LEO's unlawful orders? It makes no sense. All it does is embolden those who hate the law and open the door for more unnecessary violence.

DaveSAM25G @ 3/23/2012 1:54 AM

This may cause unnecessary deaths or even hesitation during exigent circumstances…Where you may not have a warrant but there is a need to save a life…I don’t like this one!

This is a step back not forward!

jim a @ 3/23/2012 6:23 AM

The Governor is a jackass. Don't call for help from us.


Wemo @ 3/23/2012 6:39 AM

This is a guy the GOP wanted as President. I'm sorry I'm a republican.

Steve @ 3/23/2012 7:01 AM

I hope someone reminds Gov. Daniels that the shed blood of any officer killed or injured as a result of his stupidity in passing this law, will be directly and forever on his hands! Too bad we don't have the same right to go to his workplace and make changes that we THINK will help the governor's office! Specked we'd be told we didn't know what the heck we were doing/talking about!

Goodblue @ 3/23/2012 8:16 AM

It is quite apparent that the governor of Indiana and the state legislators do not trust nor have faith in every police officer within their own state. This will have national consequences leading the more ignorant side of our society to believe that this legalized resisting can be justisfied in any state.

Leonard J Wolons @ 3/23/2012 9:32 AM

If the Gov. really thinks “this will help law enforcement” then he is truly clueless. I cannot speak to the improper ruling by the courts however passing a law that give every POS criminal who runs from their crime into the sanctuary of their home the right to resist with deadly force the LEO’s that come to arrest him/her.

Brian @ 3/23/2012 12:05 PM

This law simply reasserts a right protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution as well as the Indiana Constitution. Everything is as it had always been before the Indiana Supreme Court made its horrendous ruling. If you are a cop and worried about this law perhaps you need to stop violating the law yourselves.

Brian @ 3/23/2012 12:07 PM

This law simply reasserts a right protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution as well as the Indiana Constitution. Everything is as it had always been before the Indiana Supreme Court made its horrendous ruling. If you are a cop and worried about this law perhaps you need to stop violating the law yourselves.

Frank @ 3/23/2012 1:42 PM

Welcome to the 21st century, "the citizen must first try to cool things down by withdrawing from the encounter with the police." Someone would have to explain this one to me. Will the state of Indiana provide classroom instructions to their citizens on what to say and do. Please Officers Jones could we sit down over coffee and pie and maybe kick the reasons around why you are trying to arrest me or throw me to the floor and cuff me? Did I tell you I'm allegic to silver-plated cuffs? The Governor of Indiana should seek counseling with the Governor of Florida and the Mayor of New York.

Thor @ 3/23/2012 10:00 PM

Do the job correctly or if you think busting in with a badge is OK then start walking. I'm a retired LEO. Multi state, multi city, multi certifications. multi degrees in criminal justice.
When any LEO comes to my house I have a .45 in hand (actually when ANYONE comes. I will only talk to them after escorting them to the public street (not much sidewalk).
No entrance to residence, no permission to be on property (curtilage--all property surrounding house--fence not required) No eyeball search and no chance to declare an area a crime scene excluding me from private residence.
If you don't know PC--learn. Learn how to write an affidavit for a search/arrest warrant. Learn all ADA's--especially those on call. Same for judges. Get judicial review, establish reputation for dotting eyes and crossing "t's". This isn't the 1800's. Idea--if you can't learn how to do things right you better figure how to dig ditch's.

DKSuddeth @ 3/24/2012 3:26 PM

for all the LEOs out there outraged at this law re-establishing a right that the Indiana Supreme Court felt that we the people shouldn't have anymore, if you don't like your new operating environment, then quit. We the people are getting tired of submitting to your abuse of authority, being told to 'let the courts sort it out', only to get screwed in the end because a lawyer doesn't want to confront your union in court or the judge makes a BS determination that you are entitled to qualified immunity because of some technicality in the law. For those that are lobbying to repeal this law or expect the courts to once again decide that this right doesn't exist, the next step for 'we the people' will be jury nullification for any cops killed during our exercise of the right to resist unlawful entry or arrest. YOU will be solely responsible for the blood flow unless you restrain yourselves.

Jeremiah @ 3/24/2012 8:31 PM

Unbelievable! And absolutely absurd. I hope that governor realizes that he just signed an potentially unlimited number of death certificates for both citizens and police officers. I'm glad I don't work as an officer in THAT state!

Frank @ 3/25/2012 4:58 PM

Actually the average citizen has lost respect for any authority and the LEO's well dealing with the public can be tough these days. Imagine being in retail sales and putting up with somone who thinks they were treated unfairly because their coffee was made incorrectly. Now its with the same person except its a domestic.

Cam @ 3/26/2012 2:06 AM

So if I read this correctly, combative people high on drugs, alcohol, off their meds and or intox, and angry folks who are already dangerous enough to work, will now have a law supporting their behavior? Has the Governor ever done a ride along? LE is always trying non-lethal ideas, ie: tazers, rubber bullets, bean bag rounds, pepper spray, to name a few. Folks on drugs and or alcohol, and anyone who is "NOT going back to prison", can and do fight with all they can. Probationers and parolees, are also "not going back". DUI drivers are obnoxious and violent, especially if it is not their first and they know 'their rights'! Will this mean they are given any restrictions on HOW and with WHAT they fight back with? It is only MY opinion, but if everyone is so worried about the leo's losing 'it', maybe some of it can be contributed to the stress load, politics, and office games, that are constantly happening, and can add to the loss of temper or integrity on a call. Just throwing something and hoping it sticks to the wall is not the answer. Look at what is causing the problems. Take a look at the military right now, soldiers, LE, etc., all area human, however the same old same old, is awaiting for them every day 24/7. Yes mistakes will be made, but if any other civilian does something wrong at work and gets in trouble for it, does this now give them the right to use this ambiguous, and wide opened law in that situation? LE's are constantly being asked to do more with less, and folks are ALWAYS willing to tell you how you screwed up, instead of thanking them for what they do wrong. This law is nothing but a bad omen for the rest of the states to follow.

Marshal @ 3/26/2012 8:49 AM

Gov. Daniels just showed why our government is going downhill. What an idiot. How many criminals believe that they are doing something wrong? Now they have more right to resist and are just going to say "Oh, I didn't think I was in the wrong so I fought back." I am glad I don't work in that state. Time for the officers to just sit back and let things go until the state pulls their head out of their rearends.

Marshal @ 3/26/2012 8:49 AM

Gov. Daniels just showed why our government is going downhill. What an idiot. How many criminals believe that they are doing something wrong? Now they have more right to resist and are just going to say "Oh, I didn't think I was in the wrong so I fought back." I am glad I don't work in that state. Time for the officers to just sit back and let things go until the state pulls their head out of their rearends.

Fed Cop @ 3/27/2012 7:28 AM

How many of you have been to by a citizen during a traffic stop, that the stop "was illegal, I didn't do anything wrong!". Now in Indiana, a Trooper makes a stop, the driver feels it's "illegal", and he either doesn't stop, or fights (shoots) the Trooper. The driver is now protected by saying "I thought the officer was making an illegal stop". Judge says "Case Dismissed"

Dan @ 4/7/2012 11:47 AM

@RICK I am law enforcement in AZ and and a former Marine. The "MARINE" you speak of had already been previously connected to the cartel activity hear in AZ. He had previous arrests for those and that was another media cut and paste job on that one. As far as this Indiana law WOW!!! That is just plain stupid every officer in that state needs to come up with a case of the blue flu and go home because their governor has just gave the green light for every turd and their grandmother to wack a cop and try to use that law to protect themselves. Very few warrants are made in error and most warrants are valid. The few warrants that are not served correctly represent a very minute percentage. Sure should they have happened no will they continue to happen yes. Because as much as the we are held to a certain standard of professionalism and being able to do our jobs without errors. LEO’S ARE STILL HUMAN!! And there will always be the Human Error.

Bubba @ 6/11/2012 3:47 PM

Maybe you pigs will think twice before your next illegal home invasion....

Mike Barrett @ 6/11/2012 4:51 PM

I love this new law, though the rules sound like a trap. Any dead cop is a good thing in my book.

Ilya @ 1/8/2014 12:20 AM

Its sad that it came to this, but this law is needed. How many times have police raided the wrong house, destroyed property, killed pets and even people? The people have a right to defend themselves against abuse of power. I understand that there are many good men and women who wear the badge, but there are also ones who abuse their power and get away with it. Just go to YT and type in "Police Brutality."

Maybe if the justice system were to properly reprimand (throw the book at) LEOs who abuse their power and if the good cops would publicly condemn the bad ones, along with greater transparency within law enforcement, there wouldn't be a need for a discussion on whether or not it is OK to shoot a cop in self defense.

P.S. If you are a LEO and are tired of being hated, next time you see a cop abusing their power, condemn it (make a YT video or something). Because your silence is only making things worse, and the bad cops are ruining the name of the good cops.

Anthony Bates @ 11/23/2014 3:02 PM

I believe this law is a way to insure cops do there jobs correctly. Currently if I saw someone committing a nonviolent crime, I would not call the police because I believe I might be treated with contempt by the very person I called to come to investigate the crime and from experience of being arrested because I refused to tell the cop who I was because the cop did not have the right under Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968) however under Brown v. Texas, 443 U.S. 47 (1979) It was determined that the cop was wrong for stopping me in the first place. I guess the tax payers will have to pay out a large sum of money for that cops wrong doing. Oh well one should not put their trust in cops to do the right think all the time and be ready to pay big bucks for their incompetence.

Anthony Bates @ 11/23/2014 3:07 PM

To all cops out their it would seem the only people that have any positive feeling for you live in your neighborhood because you victimize people like me and that's the tragedy that you have that much bigotry and indifference to others that are not more wealthy than you are or cannot afford quality representation is the reason for this law. If this law is repealed it may result in cops being killed anyway because people are tire of the abuse of power and being afraid of LEO.

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