IN lawmakers, law enforcement debate outcome of illegal entry bill

Mar 8, 2012

Legislators began work Wednesday on the final details of a bill allowing people to resist illegal police entry into their homes.  Some lawmakers want to assure law enforcement officials the legislation doesn’t put them in danger. 

The bill was introduced after concerns that a recent Supreme Court decision barred people from defending their homes even from illegal police entry.  After significant changes in the House, the legislation emphasizes that the state’s self-defense statutes – passed in 1976 and 2006 – also apply to unlawful police entry. 

State Representative Jud McMillin (R-Brookville), one of the House sponsors, says he understands the concerns raised by law enforcement.  But he says the Supreme Court decision went too far.

“The argument is, an unlawful government can take action on you and then your only remedy is to go back to that very same government and ask them for sanctions later on.  And that’s not what we do in the United States of America.”

McMillin says the bill actually protects police more by restricting when people can use deadly force against law enforcement.  But Fraternal Order of Police representative Leo Blackwell says the perception of the bill is the problem.  He says the bill would only be useful in a courtroom.

“I do not agree that on the doorstep it affords any protection, any more protection to police officers.  In fact, it makes their job more dangerous.”

The bill will be up for a vote in both chambers later this week.