In March of this year, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels signed a bill that returned to Hoosiers the legal ability to defend themselves against unlawful police entry into their homes. Some are saying that Indiana is now the first state to allow the use of force against police, however others argue that the 4th and 2nd Amendments to the US Constitution already permitted this.
The new law’s introduction states:
“it is the policy of this state to recognize the unique character of a citizen’s home and to ensure that a citizen feels secure in his or her own home against unlawful intrusion by another individual or a public servant. By reaffirming the long standing right of a citizen to protect his or her home against unlawful intrusion, however, the general assembly does not intend to diminish in any way the other robust self defense rights that citizens of this state have always enjoyed. Accordingly, the general assembly also finds and declares that it is the policy of this state that people have a right to defend themselves and third parties from physical harm and crime.”
The new law stemmed from the Barnes V. Indiana State Supreme Court decision, which stated that ”allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest”.
The Barnes case was one where a police officer entered an apartment, without a warrant and without invitation from the residents, to respond to a domestic violence complaint. Mr. Barnes blocked the doorway and resisted the use of force by an officer to enter the apartment. Police choked and tasered Mr. Barnes and arrested him for Battery on a Police Officer.