The bill sprung from controversy surrounding a state Supreme Court decision interpreted by many to bar people from defending their homes against police entry, even if that entry were illegal. Supporters of the bill say it simply takes Indiana law back to its previous state. The General Assembly passed legislation in 1976 and 2006 establishing the Castle doctrine, that people have a right to defend their homes, using force if necessary.
The legislation passed by the House Thursday specifies that the Castle Doctrine also applies to law enforcement officers. The bill’s House sponsor, Brookville Republican Jud McMillin, says the Supreme Court’s ruling forced the legislature’s hand.
“When the Supreme Court said you no longer have the right to resist unlawful actions, it created a problem. I think everybody would agree that you should not be able to resist a police officer doing something lawful and, in fact, this legislation specifically says that,” McMillin says.
But Indianapolis Democrat Ed DeLaney says he worries that the public will get the message that it’s alright to resist the police.
“Don’t become your own judge and jury and get yourself in violence with a police officer. It will lead to a bad result for one or both,” DeLaney says.
The Senate will now decide to either send the bill to the governor or go back to work on it in conjunction with the House.