03/03/2012

Ind. lawmakers back bill that OKs force against police officers

The Indiana House voted 74-24 in favor of the 'right to resist' measure

The Indy Channel

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House has approved a bill laying out when people are justified in using force against police officers.

The House voted 74-24 Thursday in favor of the bill that's a response to the public uproar over a state Supreme Court ruling that residents could not resist officers even during an illegal entry.

The measure specifies residents are protected by the state's self-defense law if they reasonably believe force is necessary to protect themselves from unlawful actions by an officer.
 
Supporters said the proposal strengthens the rights of homeowners while also making clear that anyone who is committing a crime isn't justified in using force against an officer.

"There are citizens of this state who understand … that they need to be protected," said Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville.

Opponents argued the Legislature shouldn't give people justification for attacking officers.

"Fifteen thousand disagree with this bill. The men and women that are guarding the streets that you live on right now while you're sitting here, they disagree with this bill," said Rep. Linda Lawson, D-Hammond, a retired police captain.

The House and Senate must still agree on a final version.

Reprinted with permission from The Indy Channel

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