Indiana Governor Signs Bill Allowing Citizens to Protect Themselves Against Police Actions

Tuesday night, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a bill that would protect citizens who reasonably believe force is necessary to protect themselves, someone else or their own property from unlawful actions by a public servant.

While supports believe the proposal strengthens the legal rights of people against public servants or government agents illegally entering their home, police groups are worried that many will use it as justification for attacking officers or will not understand the law fully.

“For those who don’t take the time to read the law, it is going to be devastating for someone to think they have a right to resist if they only think an officers is acting illegally,” said William Owensby, president of the Indiana chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police.

Daniels stood by his decision in a written statement, “Contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement officers by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them,” But, he added: “What is troubling to law enforcement officers, and to me, is the chance that citizens hearing reports of change will misunderstand what the law says.”

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