SB 1 – Use of force against law enforcement signed into law

Gov. Daniels has signed SEA 1 which gives individuals the right to use force, in some cases deadly force, against law enforcement officers. The Indiana Law Blog has posted a news release with the governor’s statement explaining his decision to sign the bill.

He says this actually narrows the situations in which individuals can use force against law enforcement officers. I think that’s hogwash. My major complaint against this bill, the more I think about it, is that it permits use of force not only where a law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully but also where an individual thinks (or, in practice, claims to think) the officer is acting unlawfully.

It speaks to “reasonable belief.” I wonder if courts will permit inquiry into the individual’s overall knowledge of the law to establish that it would be unreasonable for particular individuals to believe they know what the law has to say about the officer’s actions in a given situation. See, generally, the Dunning-Kruger effect.


  1. Chris McDaniel says

    I agree just look at the recent case in FL. There claims of self-defense have risen dramatically since the implementation of “stand your ground” laws, which have been broadly used by defense attorneys to get clients out of charges from manslaughter to murder. This law is a mess. The IGA has mucked up IN so bad I’m glad I’m moving for grad school this fall.

  2. Carlito Brigante says

    I have been following that Florida case, too. A recent shooting in Fort Wayne has been labeled “Self-defense” by prosecutor Karen Richards in plain disregard of the facts of the case. It is better described under IC 35-42-1.

    I remember hearing once that “Indiana was a good place to be from.” Good luck on your move and grad school.

  3. exhoosier says

    “Moreover, unless a person is convinced an officer is acting unlawfully, he cannot use any force of any kind. In the real world, there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met.”

    Doesn’t Mitch Daniels remember that Linda Thompson is from Indiana? George Zimmerman was “convinced” Trayvon Martin was a threat. Presumably, Zimmerman’s reasoning doesn’t fall under Florida’s stand-your-ground law, but there he is, walking freely, without charges, nearly a month after the shooting. Daniels has just signed a bill that gives every meth dealer, gang leader and paranoiac in the state legal cover to shoot a police officer, Census worker, mail carrier and kids selling Girl Scout cookies door-to-door because they “illegally” trespassed, and thus are a threat. If I were a police department, I would order extra Kevlar for the officers — oh, wait, the budget’s been cut, you can’t afford it. Good luck not dying!

  4. Carlito brigands says


    In agree with your analysis of SB1. Linda Thompson. I haven’t heard that name since the Waco raid. She was a year or two behind me at IU Indy. What is her “‘militianess” up to now? Is she in seg at Marion, Il or living in a compound in Idaho or Oklahoma?

    • exhoosier says

      I’ve checked online to see what she’s been up to since I covered her and her minions while at the Daily Journal in Franklin in the mid 90s. Alas, I can’t find anything more recent than 2002. Although I suspect someone as paranoid as Thompson probably makes it a point to stay off the grid.

      • Paul C. says

        Hey, do you happen to know where she got her”minions?” I could use some minions myself to get my dry cleaning, cook dinner, etc. Thanks.

  5. Alan says

    Really? A person is no longer allowed to feel secure in their homes and person, from whomever? Really? And you all call me whacko for enjoying my liberty and relative tranquility away from the oversight of Big Brother. If you all live in so much fear, then form yourselves a compound and take away everyone’s ability to defend themselves. Oh that’s right, that scenario sounds a lot like Waco,Tx. The Branch Davidian met their doom even with weapons. The Government is armed with WMDs and we think we should disarm society? The Constitution is their to protect everyone from the abuses of Government. Wake Up and smell the coffee.

    • Tom says

      Newsflash Carlito, under the weight of all the state and federal laws in this country you’re a common criminal too. You just haven’t been prosecuted for it yet, until such time as the government chooses to make an example out of you.
      Ugh! I can’t believe I’m actually going to quote Rand but, …
      “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.” -Ayn Rand

  6. Carlito Brigante says

    I love it when college sophomores quote that welfare drinking old atheist fraud. Write me when you get a ‘D in poly sci 101.

  7. Carlito brigands says

    Gee Tom what a better cartoon character could you pick than that welfare craving old celibate fraud? Are you a college sophomore or have you never grown beyond it?

    • Tom says

      I haven’t heard you offer anything to refute the assertion. Further, even though she was a welfare fraud and a loon to boot the fact remains that even a broken clock is right twice a day. This is one of the few things I believe that she had right. Finally, the fact that you have to immediately drop to the level of sarcastic name calling by impugning my intellect as a “college sophomore” shows how little you have to offer on your own. Thanks for adding nothing contributory.

      • Carlito Brigante says

        You call me a common criminal with some vague allusion to all them darn laws and expect reasoned responses? There is nothing to refute. I obey the law, condemn those who don’t, and acknowledge the authority of the elected government to enact law to govern our conduct.

        And for the record, Rand was not a major intellect. She was a cult figure that has little appeal beyond adolescents that aspire to getting an apartment.

        • Tom says

          So you’ve never exceeded the posted speed limit? Never crossed the street except at the crosswalk? Never rolled a stop sign? Why you must be perfection incarnate. You can trivialize the infractions by calling them just that, but they still end up with you in a government database as a law breaker. As for Rand, I’ve never said she was a major intellect but I think in that one instance she saw the heart of our modern justice system. Control depends on having a hook you can attach the leash to and government is all about control.

  8. exhoosier says

    So Tom just established why it would be “reasonable” for him to blast the person illegally trespassing to place a pizza menu on his front doorknob.

  9. says

    I don’t see anything wrong with the police having a healthy fear of raiding someone’s home, even when they are justified in doing so.

    There are many times that a simple knock on the front door when “We need to ask you a few questions downtown” would be far better than a raid. Sadly, forced entry has become too common even when the situation doesn’t call for it. See:
    Instead of a simple conversation, they decided to kick the door in because someone had unprotected WiFi.

    If you’re sure that you can’t do that, then by all means, bring the SWAT team, surround the house, and wait for the person to come out.


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