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IN lawmakers pass bill reacting to Supreme Court ruling


Hoosiers can once again forcibly resist illegal police entry into their homes under a bill lawmakers approved Friday.  Legislators say police are better protected as well.

Last year, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a ruling - Barnes versus the state - interpreted by many to bar citizens from using force to resist police entry into their homes, even if that entry was illegal. State Senator Randy Head (R-Logansport) says the legislature was forced into acting on the issue this session because the court decision went too far.

“Bottom line for me under Barnes is that is says if a police officer is off duty and breaks into a house, clearly unlawfully, and steals something from that house or hurts someone in that house or sets fire to that house, the homeowner has to say, ‘Officer, stop or I’m going to sue you later.’”

However,  State Senator Tom Wyss (R-Fort Wayne) says the new law is too complicated for the general public to understand.  He says he worries it will create dangerous situations for citizens and the police.

“I just don’t want to go and put a rose on a casket because somebody didn’t understand this and they killed a cop by accident.”

The legislation says residents can only use deadly force against police if they feel their life is in danger, and supporters of the bill say that’s greater protection than Indiana law ever provided.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.