Last May, the Indiana State Supreme Court [above] ruled that citizens living in the Hoosier state don’t have the right to resist law enforcement officers entering their home—even when the police don’t have a warrant. Yes, you read that correctly. How, you may ask, is this ruling in compliance with the 4th Amendment that protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure? As Justice Steven David wrote for the majority . . .
We believe however that a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence. We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest.
It seems the court leaned heavily in favor of minimizing any potential violence against the police while illegally they break down your door.
“It’s not surprising that they would say there’s no right to beat the hell out of the officer,” [Valparaiso Professor Ivan] Bodensteiner said. “(The court is saying) we would rather opt on the side of saying if the police act wrongfully in entering your house your remedy is under law, to bring a civil action against the officer.”
You apparently have to be a judge to see the obviousness in this case. In any case, the Indiana House is now considering a law that would right this unjustly tipped ship. From indystar.com:
The measure — Senate Bill 1 — is aimed at overturning a controversial Indiana Supreme Court decision from last May. That 3-2 decision said people have no right to resist if police officers illegally enter their home.
The House sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville, said the bill tries to balance the rights of citizens against unlawful search and seizure with protecting law enforcement.
This, of course, does not mean that you can start blasting away at the coppers if they come into your house and you don’t think they are legally allowed to be there. That, my friends, is a good way to find yourself pushing up daisies. The new measure basically says that if an officer enters your home unlawfully, you’ll have the right to sue them. Got it? Good.
House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, made one of his rare speeches on a bill in the House, saying the bill simply provides “jury instructions” so that if a case involving police entry into a home makes it to court, people will understand what is and is not allowed under the law. In fact, the Supreme Court, in its decision, basically invited the legislature to clarify Indiana’s law.
The bill, should it become law, can’t really be seen as a constitutional rights victory as 4th Amendment protections had been considered settled law for the last several hundred years before the Indy Supremes took it upon themselves to re-interpret a couple of hundred years of case law.
Since the House altered the original bill with provisions designed to protect police officers, the Indiana Senate will have to vote again before the bill goes to Governor Mitch Daniels. Incredible.