In Defense of Indiana’s New Resistance-to-Police Law

I recently received an email from forcescience.org. The blast contained [Retired] Indiana Police Sergeant Guy Rossi’s response to Senate Bill 1: a new law that grants Hoosier state residents the right to physically resist police actions they consider illegal.

“I am a blue-blooded, card-carrying retired cop, but I think we need to look at this new law calmly. The basis of the law is an officer ‘unlawfully entering.’ Ask yourself this question: What makes an officer committing an illegal act different from any other criminal? If you woke up one night to find a uniformed officer standing at the foot of your 13-year-old daughter’s bed, with no explanation for being there, do we not believe we have the right to throw him out? If it was a criminal in plainclothes would you even think twice about threatening the use of deadly force within your home if he responded with aggression? No one is above the law . . . no one . . .

“It is unfortunate that uneducated citizens may misinterpret this law, but the basis for it has been in existence for over 200 years, through the 2nd Amendment, which protects us against government tyranny. I only hope that my brothers and sisters in blue will look to the spirit of this legislation and continue to perform their job admirably and professionally.”

Sgt. Guy Rossi (ret.)
Certified Force Science Analyst
Rochester (NY) PD

comments

  1. avatar Kevin Walsh says:

    He is absolutely right! And that goes for all police actions that do not uphold The Constitution Of The United States, including disarming peaceful citizens going about their everyday activities. Activities that usually include working and paying taxes.

  2. avatar Totenglocke says:

    Holy shnikes, a cop who gets it!

    1. avatar rosignol says:

      Retired, unfortunately. Hopefully he’s involved with training or something similar. More cops need to hear what he has to say. ps: I just got a ‘you are posting comments too quickly’ message… this is the first time I’ve hit the post button in at least half an hour. Looks like something odd might be happening on the back-end.

      1. avatar rosignol says:

        pps: Also, something appears to be eating my carriage returns and inserting new ones randomly.

      2. avatar John Fritz says:

        Yup. A whole lot of them get pretty honets and strighforward once they have their pension in the bag. I used to be a supporter of LEAP ntil I discovered that the majority of its members are made up of either former LEO’s or folks like we have here, a retired LEO that no longer has anything to loose, more or less. Certainly not his job and pension.

        1. avatar John Fritz says:

          Something is amiss here Robert, no edit and the formatting is on drugs.

  3. avatar TTACer says:

    “The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the crown. It may be frail – its roof may shake – the wind may blow through it – the storm may enter – the rain may enter – but the King of England cannot enter. All his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement” Pitt the Elder

  4. avatar Henry Bowman says:

    From his stance on the issue, I’m assuming that retired Sgt. Rossi was a Peace Officer (as opposed to a Law Enforcement Officer). It’s always refreshing to be reminded that there are, or at least were, some out there. However, even he shows his bias. “Continue to perform their job admirably and professionally?” “Continue” implies they’ve already been performing admirably, yet this very issue stems from police “unlawfully entering.” Nothing admirable or professional about that. Also, isn’t the term “red-blooded?” Blue-blooded denotes royalty or a sanctified class. Maybe he got the terms confused… or maybe it was a Freudian slip. Regardless, I’m glad to see that there are some police out there that recognize there role is to serve with the consent instead of rule by force.

  5. avatar pair-o-dee says:

    Ah, utopianism – charming in theory, madness in practice.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      I don’t care how unlawful a police entry may be; resisting will get
      you killed. Whose first?

  6. avatar bontai Joe says:

    Yeah, but didn’t the US supreme court recently rule that warrantless searches of our homes are now ok? I am beginning to wonder if ANY entry of a home by police officers can be deemed illegal. All they have to do is claim they smelled pot smoke, or heard a “suspicious” noise and I believe that is all the justification they need to enter our homes today. Essentially the 4th Amendment is gone as far as I know. So how is this state law going to offer any protection against that?

    1. avatar Totenglocke says:

      Seeing how they have the right to use deadly force, if the cops don’t get it through their heads that they have to obey the Constitution, then there’ll just be a lot of business for the local morticians.

      1. avatar LT says:

        If you’re talking about last year’s case with the marijuana, the police are allowed to bust in if the door isn’t answered, they hear movement, and have reason to believe evidence is being destroyed. Not a big fan of the decision but it’s not entirely unreasonable to me. As for the opinion of this ex-officer, wow. Really, really surprised to hear something like that coming out of the mouth of a cop, retired or not.

        1. avatar Elliotte says:

          Just curious, in that marijuana case, did the police have a warrant for that residence or were they just going to ask some questions/follow up a lead?

        2. avatar Derek says:

          IIRC the case that spurred the SC decision was a domestic. The resident had decided that he’d answered enough questions and told the cops to leave. They refused and the resident shoved them out the front door and slammed to door in their face. The cops kicked the door in and the resident fought with the police.

  7. avatar Ben Eli says:

    After reading through the bill, I definitely support this. What is very interesting is that his legislation seems to be reactionary to a Indiana Supreme Court ruling overturning the common law practice that one may resist against on officer entering one’s home without permission, warrant, or good cause. The ruling found “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” Follow the link. The second link is a short opinion piece I found. http://www.in.gov/judiciary/opinions/pdf/05121101shd.pdf http://www.masson.us/blog/?p=7397 Today, common law is going out the door. If states want to see common law practices stick around, people need to lobby to make common law written law. I hope that the state does a good job publicizing the ins and outs of this law. I don’t want to hear about cop killers pointing to this law to try and defend murder.

    1. avatar Elliotte says:

      “Today, common law is going out the door.” Coincidence that common sense is going the way of the dodo as well?

      1. avatar karlb says:

        SYG is counter in some important ways to common law. Is this bad?

        1. avatar Ben Eli says:

          What do you mean by counter? I would say SYG laws cement common law
          practices into workable and amendable law that can be irrefutable.
          There are pluses and minuses to it of course, but I would
          definitely say that turning common law into written law is good.

  8. avatar Michael B. says:

    The police are not our masters even though they fancy themselves as such from time to time. I maintain that the combination of tyrannical lawmakers, ignorant voters and enthusiastic law enforcers have destroyed our personal liberty to a great degree. Furthermore, the indoctrination that has been going for yea rs that basically says the state is the rightful guarantor of liberty and the provider for all has turned off the inherent defenses against tyranny in many people. “Worry not,” they say. “The government will take care of it.” And it has with disastrous results and a staggering human toll. One only needs to look at our prisons and the body count our war machine has accrued..

  9. avatar bruce says:

    I’ve been tossing this issue around in my head for months after reading about the elderly ex-marine who was gunned down in his own home after his medic alert alarm accidentally went off and the police responded by treating him like a barricaded felon. I wondered if he would have been right had he defended himself using deadly force. I also wonder about instances where during traffic stops and you advise the LEO that you’re legally carrying a concealed weapon and they then proceed draw their weapon….what do you do? Hope they don’t shoot you? Defend yourself? Of course attempting to pull yours at this point is probably stupid, but from a legal standpoint, I just wonder at what point are you justified?

  10. avatar stateisevil says:

    Most Americans believe that those who wear state issued uniforms are better than those who don’t. More moral, brave, etc. I’ll be surprised if the bill passes.

  11. avatar Levi B says:

    Why should a cop get a free pass to violate your rights? They should know them better than anyone, and therefore have no excuse of ignorance in violating them.

  12. avatar IdahoPete says:

    The proposed law is intended to counter an “Indiana Supreme Court ruling overturning the common law practice that one may resist against on officer entering one’s home without permission, warrant, or good cause. The ruling found “there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers.” I don’t see why the police would have a problem with this law. As long as they are law-abiding, and do NOT try to illegally enter a home, they have nothing to fear. Isn’t that what the statists are always telling us? “Hey, if you haven’t committed a crime, you shouldn’t need a lawyer. Talk to us.”

  13. avatar SD3 says:

    Dude, you will never, Never, *NEVER* legally survive shooting a cop. Don’t think a about it. Don’t do it. But most of all, just don’t do it.

    1. avatar Dyspeptic Gunsmith says:

      But the cops will get away without so much as a “Bad cop, no donut.”

    2. avatar Totenglocke says:

      And that is why dictatorships survive. “Don’t do it Abu, you’ll be killed for resisting and killing one of Saddam’s soldiers!”

      As long as the peasants cower as you’re suggesting, the tyrants will continue to abuse them. Grow some balls and stand up for yourself and you just might get your freedom back. Sure, maybe you’ll die trying, but it’s better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.

      1. avatar SD3 says:

        “As long as the peasants cower as you’re suggesting..” OK, you go
        first, Mr. Toten-Kopf-Glocken-Schiessen-Gewehr-Ubermensch. Let me
        know how that works out for you.

  14. avatar Silver says:

    I fail to see the issue. Anyone opposed to this bill is basically saying that people should not have the right to resist criminals. Whether they wear a state-issued costume is irrelevant.

  15. avatar Low Budget Dave says:

    I think it goes with the definition. Once we give someone “police power”, we give up our right to self-defense against them. If they do something wrong, all you get to do is sue them.

  16. avatar Ralph says:

    I gotta get me one of those uniforms so I, too, could commit any
    crime ever conceived of in the history of American jurisprudence
    and get away with it.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      ‘Cept I’m not wearing one of those stupid hats. No way.

      1. avatar bontai Joe says:

        Ralph, I could try and send you a PA state trooper “Smokey the
        Bear” style hat if that would look better on you. It seems that
        some of the local small town depts in my area are now wearing
        standard baseball caps with the dept logo on the front.

      2. avatar John D says:

        Sorry Ralph- It’s a UNIFORM hat… By the way, are you talking to
        yourself now?

    2. avatar Dex says:

      “I gotta get me one of those uniforms so I, too, could commit any
      crime ever conceived of in the history of American jurisprudence
      and get away with it.” If its a representative uniform you desire,
      I can give you a pair of blue jeans and a jacket with yellow “FBI”
      printed on the back of it. That way, you can torture, frame, and
      murder with legal impunity.

    3. avatar IdahoPete says:

      Ralph – you don’t need the uniform! Get yourself a plastic badge
      that says “Junior G-man”, a ball cap with “FBI” embroidered on it,
      a dark blue “raid jacket” with “FBI” painted on the back, and
      declare yourself an UNDOCUMENTED FBI AGENT! Since the
      administration and the left are all in favor of “undocumented
      immigrants” having the right to vote and run for office, there
      should be no problem with a bunch of us being “undocumented”
      federal officers! If you don’t care for the FBI, go with BATFE,
      DEA, TSA, or whatever acronym strikes your fancy. I am planning on
      becoming an Undocumented US Senator, so I can get in on the travel
      perks, retirement, and the free fine dining facility if I visit DC.
      I already have a dark suit and a power tie.

  17. avatar Tom says:

    I think some Indiana Legislators have an attitude toward the
    Indiana courts. Maybe with good reason.

  18. avatar Hal says:

    As a LEO myself: PRO: Protects a person from a bad cop. While the
    vast majority of cops are in it to make things better, some are
    bad. No organization, LE, MIL, civ or otherwise is totally
    impenetrable. PRO: Forces agencies to double down on their
    authorities training. There are very specific conditions that must
    exist in order for a LEO to enter a dwelling. These include but are
    not limited to: by invitation, warrant service, “hot pursuit,”
    probable cause to arrest for or prevent a crime, probable cause to
    use force in protection of themselves or others. LEO’s, as
    guardians of civil rights (and shame on any LEO who thinks
    otherwise), NEED to understand how to properly and justly apply
    authority. Some LEOs need to be reminded from time to time that we
    are the good guys, and we are here to help. CON: The likelihood
    that some will misinterpret the law to mean that they can use force
    against a LEO anytime they don’t want them in a residence. All that
    said I have the following advice: unless you can strongly
    articulate that a LEO is maliciously trying to seriously harm or
    kill you contrary to the law or his authority, just cooperate. Even
    if it violates your rights in the short term, if you know you are
    in the right, his dept will most likely fire him and financially
    settle to avoid your lawsuit. If his dept is crooked and protects
    him, by all means contact higher echelons of LE and do NOT hesitate
    to sue the pants off of him and his dept if it’s that bad. This is
    not to say you should be frivolously suing left and right, but your
    liberty is your liberty. Study your local use of force laws and
    understand them. I’ll say this again for clarity however: your
    proverbial ducks had better be in a pretty straight row if you use
    ANY force against a LEO. If you don’t have a damned good case to
    prove that he was completely outside of his authority and that your
    use of force was necessary to defend yourself, you are screwed.
    It’s not always right, but it is what it is.

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

button to share on facebook
button to tweet
button to share via email