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Indiana Legalizes Cop Killing

by James Tarr   |  June 18th, 2012 41

Like the headline?  I’ve been taking classes on how to write for the mainstream media.

 

When I stumbled across the headline, “Indiana first state to allow citizens to shoot law enforcement officers”,  I have to admit I was a bit intrigued.  Did somebody watch one too many episodes of “Parking Wars”?

 

Upon reading the article, however, I saw that what Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels did was sign a law allowing residents to use deadly force against public servants, including law enforcement officers, who unlawfully enter their homes.

 

This law was apparently a direct response to a United States Supreme Court ruling last year where a man assaulted a police officer who came into his house during a domestic disturbance call.  The court ruled that there was “no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.”

 

Okay, stop.  What?

 

I am a former police officer, and am friends with many current and former cops, so don’t lump me in with the long-haired hippie, cop-hating crowd.  But also don’t tell me I don’t have the right to resist unlawful entry into my house, by anyone.  The fact that the person might be employed by a government agency to enforce laws becomes moot when they are participating in an unlawful act.  I’m sorry, the badge is not a Get Out Of Jail Free card.

 

What surprises me (and maybe it shouldn’t) is that this wasn’t already legal.  How can it be illegal to shoot someone who breaks into your house and is trying to commit a violent act against you?

 

The answer?  It’s not.  The Supreme Court has been wrong before, and will be wrong again.  You want to know what gives American citizens the “right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers”?  It’s called the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States—“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated….”  Notice the framers of the Constitution didn’t use the word “illegal”, they said “unreasonable”.  You know why they didn’t put anything in the Constitution about how you have a right to resist illegal entry?  Because (check the definition of the word) IT’S ILLEGAL!

 

Indiana state senator R. Michael Young feels the same way, stating, “There are bad legislators,” Young said. “There are bad clergy, bad doctors, bad teachers, and it’s these officers that we’re concerned about that when they act outside their scope and duty that the individual ought to have a right to protect themselves.”

 

The law requires those people using force to “reasonably believe” a law enforcement officer is acting illegally and that it’s needed to prevent “serious bodily injury,” Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels said in a statement.  He also indicated, “In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met.  This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers.”

 

(Here’s another article on the subject, see how many examples of liberal editorial bias you can find in this so-called news piece.)

 

Personally, I think the situation you’re much more likely to see is police officers raiding a house due to a simple address screw-up.  This has happened too many times to count over the years, and occasionally innocent citizens get killed by police when they respond with a gun to what sounds like a break in.  Jeff Cooper himself wondered what would happen the day cops, accidentally executing a no-knock warrant on the wrong address and doing a poor job of identifying themselves as the good guys, find themselves faced by a Master-class shooter believing he is in the middle of a home invasion.  This hasn’t happened yet, but it will.  No-knock warrants are a necessity, but they are vastly overused.

 

There have also been numerous instances of bad guys dressing as cops when breaking into houses, confounding the problem.  Confronted with a group of armed men charging into your house in the middle of the night, who either are not properly marked as law enforcement officers or haven’t identified themselves as such, do you hope for the best and submit, or resist with force?

 

  • Stephen

    I can understand where you're coming from in the second to last paragraph, but isn't it also the law enforcements duty to properly identify themselves in their full capacity and make sure that their information is 100% accurate to help avoid a deadly incident due to miscommunication and misinformation. This sounds like a law that will not only protect citizens from being unlawfully hassled in their own homes as well as in and on their own property, but will also force law enforcement to be damn sure that they are identifying themselves before going into a home and on someones property and making sure that their information is 100% accurate before performing a raid,

    • Thom. Jefferson

      Of course it is their 'duty' to properly ID themselves, as well as make sure that their information is correct, but that is often not the case. Until LEOs are held responsible for their actions (faliure to ID, incorrect address, excssive force, etc) they will continue to do as they please. For too many years law enforcement has been given carte blance with little accountability for thier illegal actions. Dozen of indivduals have been found to have been wrongly convicted in Dallas alone in recent years, yet not one person has been held responsible for the corrupt actions of the law enforcement agencies involved. What is the deterent for a LEO to not 'fudge' on evidence or testimony when there are no repercussions? If anything, LEOs should be held to a higher standard of the law – not less – as they are supposed to protect the weaker from the more powerful, not help hold them down. As long as the 'good ole boy' networks are allowed to operate with impunity there will be no changes. And if you stand against a group of armed LEOs entering you house – illegally or not- they will shoot you down like the dog they perceive you as for daring to question their actions.

      • Alan_T

        No argument from me Mr . President .

        • Alan_T

          Uh ……. ummmmm ….. by the way sir , is Sally Hemmings really as hot as people say ?

          • Guest

            LOL Alan T

  • Mike

    i get the idea behind the law but unless the cop is by himself, you aren't going to live to use the law. once you start shooting at a cop, his buddies are going to add some lead to your diet.

    • Alan_T

      I can't argue against your logic either , Mike .

  • mikkidog

    I am a retired LEO and a competition shooter. It's probably not going to end well for anyone to enter my residence illegally. Most 'no-knock' warrants are executed by a team, and probably faster than I can put up a defense even in my own home. With the exception of an intruder(s) entering to kill me, I will NOT escalate a scenario this to a deadly confrontation. I am not particularly fond of the idea of being held at gunpoint, but a shooting match inside of my house is the alternative. It seems that the inevitable end result of dying at the hands of Police Officers for a mistaken address is not in my best interest.

    • Alan_T

      Of course I'm not privy to everything , but most of the no – knock warrants that have gone horribly wrong that I am familiar with were executed by the BATF . Those rock – um sock – um boys are inclined to shoot every thing in sight ( " leave no witnesses " should be their departmental motto ) especially humans and household pets .
      Thanks for your service mikkidog and enjoy your retirement .

    • ToryII

      Maybe it's because you're a coward.

  • Ghandi

    Long haired, cop hating hippies are afforded the same freedom of speech as anyone else under the consitituion, and many will find their information more reliable than short haired rednecks. If you believe that there is equal justice for all in this country look at the case of the West Memphis Three who were wrongly convicted of the murder of three in the 90's through the actions of corrupt cops and DAs office. Now, despite the fact that they have been exonerated through the use of DNA the only way they could garner their release was to sign ALFORD pleas. For those of you who wonder what an ALFORD plea is it is a confession that states that the prosecutors have sufficent evidence to convict you although you are innocent. To me, the very fact that such a plea even exsists in annuals of law screams improptiey. So after serving over 18 years in prison for a crime that they did not commit, and who were only convicted through the actions of corrupt law enforcement and prosecutors, they still had to plead quilty, for which the judge sentenced them to time served PLUS 10 year suspended sentences – This is justice in America?

  • jeepers Creepers

    What is a master-class shooter? It is stated in the article.
    On a no knock warrent it is understood that it could be very dangrous for the law officers in general.
    What about bobby traps installed inside the home. Trip one and it might be the last sound you hear.
    After all the "LEO's" are going after so called bad guys. I have in the past did this when I lived in the city. I now live in the county and do not have to worry about intruders.

    • Alan_T

      A master class shooter is a person who is a top rated competitor considered to have " mastered " a shooting discipline , ie : IDPA , Bulls Eye , 3 – Gun , etc.
      I don't know what a " bobby trap " is , but I can assure you that BOOBY TRAPS ARE ILLEGAL in every jurisdiction in the United States . Set one and somebody triggers it , good guy , bad guy or unknown and it results in a death ……I can guarantee you , you WILL be arrested , tried and convicted of murder .

      • Wolvie

        Why bother explaining it to the mental midget?

        You do realize that he's going to start posting he's a Master Class shooter now…

        Though, one can hope that he follows through with setting his "bobby" traps. This way, there's a 99% probability he'll remove himself from the gene pool and the remaining 1% will be that he's locked away again.

        • Alan_T

          Yes , I realise that now Wolvie , that I shouldn't have defined the term Master Class for Creepy . We can only hope you're right about him setting off one of his own " bobby traps " . Usually , I don't respond to Creepy Peepers because I think he's mentally challenged ( I'm not just saying that ) but , I got looking at what he typed and it's been my life experience that , that when something is said in front of a large enough group of people , no matter how asinine , stupid or insane , There will be some slack – jaw , equally asinine , stupid or insane who is going to think " what a GOOOOOOOD Idea ! " and try it .

          • Wolvie

            Well, if ever you're feeling down, think of him constructing his booby traps…

            Just imagine the creepy mental patient running out of his house and down the street with a bear trap stuck on his head and his crotch on fire.

            Oh, and if you were drinking something while reading that…I take no responsibility for liquid damage to your keyboard or sinus irritation as a result of liquid flying out of it…

  • Big Ron

    I thought that tthey had a right to enter, if it was a domestic call, and they presumed someone inside might be hurt. Sounds reasonable to me. Can someone clear this up ?

  • focusman

    Tarr needs to check his information. The Supreme Court ruling was from the Indiana Supreme Court, not the U.S. Supreme Court.

  • Bill K

    I am a retired police Sargeant (28 Years) worked all aspects of criminal invetigation, traffic, drugs, homicides, you name it. A law like this is long overdue. Police officers(all departements, i.e. city, county, fed. and state, should be held accountable for their actions also. If illegal, then the citizen should have the right to defend themselves and if it requires lethal force, so be it. Good guy or bad guy you reap what you sow.

  • J. Cropper

    As someone who has worn a badge, I can certainly see both sides of this issue. So many times it seems that the hands of the police are tied behind their backs, and that the criminals have all of the rights. At the same time, by the day this country is becoming more of a police state, and so many cops are becoming 'legal bullies' and running roughshod over the very citizens they've sworn to protect and serve. I was taught to respect and cooperate with law enforcement officers, but nowadays some of them tend to scare a lot of us, and for good reason. I thank GOD that I've never had to utilize deadly force against another person, and I pray that this law will never have to be used. Having so said—— I'm glad it's there——- just in case.

    Another sad reality is the absolute need for the 'castle doctrine' and 'stand your ground' laws. The growing criminal element seems to be getting more brazen and potentially violent with each passing day and —again, GOD forbid— the law-abiding citizens need to be able to defend themselves and their loved ones (or other innocent third parties). Just for the record— concerning all of the multitude of 'gun laws' on the books——— our (supposedly) ultimate legal document in the USA, the US Constitution (remember that?) in the 2nd Amendment clearly states, "… the right of THE PEOPLE to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED."!!!!! I personally support the growing movement toward "Constitutional Carry" (no license/permit required for rightful, lawful citizens). GOD bless America / America bless GOD !!!

  • Alan_T

    Thanks for the article Mr . Tarr you're always informative ( even if we don't see eye to eye on the movie " The Kingdom " HAHAHAHAHAHAHA " ) .
    I realize that this is kind of off topic and I will probably be taken to task for it , but one of the things that has bothered me from it's inception has been balaclavas worn by officers . I have always thought that it was departmental maleficences to allow / promote it ( and yes , I have been told the rational ad nauseium over the years and I still don't buy it ) . It's my experience that it becomes way to easy for officers to slip into unacceptable behavior when they know that they can't be identified individually . I don't much care for the rest of the militarization of police either , although it's easier to make a case for BDU's and armor . Anyway …… thanks again for the article .

  • Jim Macklin

    I remember Kenyon Ballew, in Silver Springs, MD who was shot by ATF agents serving a daylight knock warrant after dark as no-knock. A burglar had said he saw a grenade during a burglary.
    And I remember the Texas Rangers testifying before Congress in the Waco hearings. They stated that Texans had an absolute right to resist and illegal attack on their property.
    The big problem is that honest, good citizens, expect that the only reason anyone would break into their home would be a gang home invasion.
    Criminals expect a police raid, honest folks don't.

  • Scared stiff

    We've had 7 "questionable" shootings by the Palm Beach County Sheriffs office in the last 4 months. Several have been of unarmed citizens. Ric Bradshaw (sheriff) has said they all were justifiable, even though the courts haven't determined this yet. It seems their police state policy of "Blam, Blam, HOLD IT RIGHT THERE" is the new norm here. While I wasn't there for any of the shootings (thankfully), neither was the sheriff. It just shows the violent mindset of local law enforcement lately. God save us all….

  • ToryII

    Cops or drug agents should not be enforcing drug laws anyway. This topic is one reason why Americans need their AK's and AR's. This topic also should never have been reviewed by the Courts. No person (Nazi, cop, thug, etc) should ever be allowed to trump the right's of a home owner. Common sense.

    America is now both a police state and a criminal state, and this topic is the proof.

    • Wolvie

      "Cops or drug agents should not be enforcing drug laws anyway"

      You're right.

      Drug dealers should just be shot on sight. Junkies who protect them should just be punched repeatedly in the face.

      • Alan_T

        Wolvie , Toryll sounds like he isn't getting enough fiber in his diet and it's making him cross ……… Or maybe Toryll is just pissed off because his parents stuck him with the name " Toryll " .

        • Wolvie

          Not enough fiber…?

          So what you are saying is, he's full of…

          Ohhh…yeah! Now it all makes sense!

      • Alan Zed

        Show me the clause in the Constitution that gives ANY branch of the Federal gov't the power to place a ban on the possesion of ANYTHING….well? Not there, is it? So all federal drug laws are un-Constitutional, and therefore….illegal? And enforcement of an illegal "law" is…what? If you support the Const., then support ALL of it, not just the parts you like.

  • New Boston reader

    We had this happen in New Boston, Ohio some years back…..Police had a wrong address and invaded a home doing much damage and as I recall personal injury. So, it can happen; however, it is unfortunate and the worst could happen either way.

  • confuscious

    i hope everyone saying theyre happy this laws in place do understand its only for indiana residence and not for everyone else thats not residing in that state… or am i wrong by saying this? its not put in place by the supreme court or is it ? im a bit confuse can some one explain please?

  • Nomadac

    I recommend anyone interested in Indiana's Law read it at http://www.in.gov/legislative/bills/2012/SE/SE000… for complete details.

  • Ali

    How much price.i am Ali.from pakistan

  • Alan_T

    Very much the yes Ali from pakistan ! You , me for the talking , thanking you the very much !
    Now that we have all had our little chuckle Ali , why don't you go finish your homework and let the adults talk ?

  • Jim

    Good lord Bill K. A law like this is long overdue? I would think if you were a cop for 28 years you would learned how to spell Sergeant.

    Any cop in the country will tell you if they are on a domestic violence call and suspect an injured person inside, they have probable cause to make entry. Imagine the mess if he didn't make entry and found out later there was an injured or murdered person inside. It happened here a couple of years ago. The wife was sealed in a large plastic container, deceased of course.

    I'm a retired Indiana police officer. I will tell you that the police here will still enter a residence if he suspects foul play. Leave it to a lawmaker wanting some publicity to even dream up a bill like that.

    I had 23 years as a police officer in Indiana.

  • Alan_T

    No offense intended Jim and I agree with your statement that
    " Any cop in the country will tell you if they are on a domestic violence call and suspect an injured person inside, they have probable cause to make entry. Imagine the mess if he didn't make entry and found out later there was an injured or murdered person inside. It happened here a couple of years ago. The wife was sealed in a large plastic container, deceased of course. "
    But …….. you're making an argument against something that Bill K didn't say .

  • jeff

    well any cop on a domestic call believing there is an injured person or a threat inside should identify himself as a law officer as he makes entry. therefore entry is not "illegaL" hes doing his job and homeowner is liable for resisting . however a no knock warrant with no identification thats another story. if you were to try to storm my house with no identification i would assume the worst and you are doing it to harm me my family and or my property and i will consider you a threat and take all appropriate measures up to and including lethal force to stop you … however if you were police and entered illegally and identified yourself as police i would not escalate the threat , but i would mount a very significant challenge in court…

  • Alan_T

    Well reasoned and stated Jeff …. kudos .

  • http://www.facebook.com/Likaion Likaion El Lobo Gauta

    Well, in my country that law would be a good thing, not only the law enforcement police officers enter in a house without an order of the ministerio público or a judicial order, also some soldiers do it and when they enter in a house it's not a guarrante that they respect your private property because a lot of this "officers" also are robbers and steal all they want it, and also have the risk to be kidnapped, punched and kicked near to the death, tortured, and also "desapeared" (they kill you and dissapear your body), yes, in my country Mexico this law would be an excelent option to defend yourself without going to the jail…
    Sorry for my bad english…

  • Alan_T

    Your English is probably better than most of our Spanish , Likaion . I wish you good luck with your troubles .

  • Et al.

    Mr. Tarr, please get your facts right! THIS WAS NOT A U.S. SUPREME COURT CASE! The ruling which started this controversy was issued by the highest court in the State of Indiana only.
    The U.S. Supreme court has had some questionable decision to say the least (Dredd Scott was not it's first, nor it's last). However, the nine justices in Washington were not responsible for this one.
    Please correct your article. Focusman pointed out your error six days ago, and the article is still up. PLEASE CORRECT. This is just embarrassing.

  • Str8shooter

    Tennessee has a provision in their gun law that allows deadly force against unreasonable/excessive force by LEOs. However, I would be very careful about misinterpreting the law. And, if you are in the commission of a crime, forget about this provision. I have a profuse respect and admiration for LEOs, God knows they have it tough, however, no profession is completely free of defects(Banks, Military, Clergy, Judges, etc), and law enforcement is no different. The overwhelming majority of LEOs are good people, but occasionally, a thug will make it to the ranks, I believe this provision is for the rare, but real possibility that a person could become a victim of a bad apple. Most of the LEOs I've questioned on civilian carry, have expressed their approval of legally armed citizens. One cited me a statistic, that showed as a group, citizens that legally carry, are less likely to commit serious crimes , than preachers and LEOs, among others.

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