Skip to comments.Indiana House approves bill covering police entering homes
Posted on 03/05/2012 7:26:16 AM PST by Altariel
INDIANAPOLIS Hoosiers could legally defend themselves against police officers who enter their home under a measure that the Indiana House approved on a 74-24 vote, moving it another step toward becoming law, on Thursday.
The measure would overturn last years Indiana Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that homeowners do not have the right to use force against law enforcement officials who they believe are illegally entering their homes.
That decision came in the case of Richard Barnes, 57, (not Richard Barnes Jr., 38, who was sentenced to prison in 2010 in an unrelated case, or the Rev. Richard Barnes of Evansville) an Evansville man who filed a lawsuit against police who followed him into his house while they were responding to a domestic dispute Barnes had with his wife.
Proponents said the measure provides police with additional legal protection, while affirming the Castle Doctrine idea that homeowners have the right to resist anyone, including police, who invades their homes.
In a rare appearance off the rostrum and on the House floor, Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, urged the chamber to approve Senate Bill 1.
What were doing here is were writing a jury instruction. Were writing an appellate standard to see whos responsible; who has a defense, he said.
What this says is when it does get to the courts and the courts have to sort out whos right, whos wrong, this clarifies that were back to the same standard we had in this county, in this state, for more than 200 years.
Other members were more forceful about the measures impact.
Rep. Mike Speedy, R-Indianapolis, said the measure would help Hoosiers who would otherwise lose freedom to the coercive power of government. He said without action, police officers who kill citizens in their own homes would be protected.
We cant kid ourselves it is as powerful as ever, and without undoing the Barnes decision, it has crept into our home in a way that is wildly unpopular in our communities, he said.
Rep. Matt Pierce, D-Bloomington, said the measure protects Hoosiers from rogue cops, but said he thinks there will be few instances when police improperly enter homes, or where Hoosiers use force against police officers because of the measure.
I admit that the number of times that is going to happen in our state is going to be infinitesimally small, he said. Im not concerned that were going to suddenly have meth-heads sitting in their La-Z-Boy with their shotgun and SB 1 in their hand.
Pierce, one of the Houses most liberal members, drew laughter when he said it felt uncomfortable to be casting a vote that the National Rifle Associations lobbyist approved of.
Rep. Mike White, D-Muncie, said he could not vote for the measure and then return to his district and look police officers in the eye.
Even though I know that factually, this is probably the right thing to do, sometimes law isnt about fact sometimes its about perception, and its that perception that I fear, he said.
Rep. Craig Fry, D-South Bend, said the bill is going to cause people to die.
And its too late after somebody dies for a jury to sort it out. Somebodys going to die, whether its a police officer or an individual who thinks a police officer is entering their home unlawfully. People are going to die, he said.
Rep. Linda Lawson, a Hammond Democrat who has worked as a police officer and has trained other law enforcement officials, said she believes the measure would create an open season on law enforcement.
She said the measure is opposed by 1,250 state police officers and 14,000 men and women in blue, brown and green.
The bill now returns to the Senate. That chamber could approve it in the form that passed the House, or the House and Senate could have a joint committee try to hash out the differences before sending it back to both chambers for final approval.
Lest they be identified as ANTIWOMAN the legislature will undoubtedly modify the bill to make sure that Barne’s wife could have still called the cops and let them in LEGALLY.
All the more reason to pass it.
The Indiana police are on the wrong side on this one—siding with liberal democrats.
It’s very concerning that so many officers are demanding the “right” to enter homes *illegally*.
2 stated priorities of the Indiana Tea Party.
1) Remove Sen. Dick Lugar
2) Remove State Supreme Court Justice Steven David (who wrote this stupid law)
Looks like #2 is almost complete, now finish the job, remove Justice David the court through recall and remove Lugar from office.
I love it when I plan (begins) to come together!
Concerning, but not in the least surprising. The police are there to enforce the will of the government. To most of them (and to be fair to most other government bureaucrats as well) the constitution is a joke. The only rights you have are those granted by the whim of the government, and if they don't feel in a generous mood your a$$ is grass.