Governor Signs Controversial “Right To Resist” Bill Into Law.

Posted on March 25, 2012


Personally, I’m on the fence with this one.  I understand why it’s there, but I think this law may have unintended consequences; especially with what is in store this summer with the occupiers and other malcontents now joining forces.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels (R)

Indiana (The Gaslamp Post) – Last Tuesday evening, Indiana Governor, Mitch Daniels signed into law, a measure that has law enforcement officials crying foul.  The controversial new law, which as a bill was named, “Senate Enrolled Act 1,” defines under which circumstances a private citizen may resist a law enforcement officer.  Fraternal Order of Police president, Tim Downs believes that this may be an open invitation for citizens to act out on police.  “There’s an element of society out there that doesn’t have a lot of use for the police to begin with,” said Downs. “They’re going to view this as an avenue for them to go after us.”

This legislation follows the Indiana State Supreme Court’s decision that, in the event of a confrontation with police, a citizen should not resist for fear of a situation escalating, but rather allow a court to sort out the events and determine whether or not the police were within their legal rights, later on

Governor Daniels had listened to both sides of the argument before deciding to sign the bill into law.  “Contrary to some impressions, the bill strengthens the protection of Indiana law enforcement by narrowing the situations in which someone would be justified in using force against them,” said Governor Daniels.  “[It] puts into place a two-part test before a person can use deadly force against a law enforcement officer.”  In order to comply with this law, a citizen must first, “reasonably believe the law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully,” and secondly, the citizen’s actions “must be reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the citizen.”

President of the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police, William Owensby, said that he foresees a problem with how the general public is going to perceive this law.  According to Indystar, he says that he doubts that the public will actually read and fully understand the law, and know what is required prior to resisting.  Both he and Down believe that it will only be a matter of time before someone takes actions that will result in “dire” consequences, and point to this new law as the reason why.

Governor Daniels, in a statement to address his constituents said that, “the right thing to do is cooperate with (police) in every way possible. This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers. In fact, it restricts when an individual can use force, specifically deadly force, so don’t try anything.”

(h/t:  Indystar)