WBEZ | police entry http://www.wbez.org/tags/police-entry Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Daniels signs police entry law http://www.wbez.org/story/daniels-signs-police-entry-law-97521 <p><p>Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed one last bill to bring this year’s General Assembly to a close.</p><p>That bill, Senate Enrolled Act 1, lays out in greater detail when a homeowner can refuse entry to a police officer.</p><p>The law comes as a result of last summer’s ruling by the Indiana Supreme Court that concluded Hoosier homeowners cannot refuse entry into their homes by police, even if the officers arrive without a warrant.</p><p>“After close inspection, I have decided to sign Senate Enrolled Act 1.&nbsp;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 the,” Daniels wrote in a prepared statement. “Senate Enrolled Act 1 puts into place a two-part test before a person can use deadly force against a law enforcement officer:&nbsp; First, it clarifies and restates the current requirement that a person reasonably believe the law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully.&nbsp;Second, it adds that the force must be reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the citizen.&nbsp;This second requirement is not part of the current law.”</p><p>The law comes four years after an Evansville, Indiana man sued police after being arrested following a domestic disturbance.</p><p>The court’s ruling caused an uproar, prompting protests and marches outside the Indiana State Capitol. Critics saw it as an affront to a person’s right against unwarranted search and seizure.</p><p>After much debate, Hoosier lawmakers passed Senate Enrolled Act 1 on the last day of the session earlier this month. Daniels signed the bill into law Wednesday. He says it narrows the conditions under which someone could use force against police.</p><p>Critics worry the law could give people justification for attacking police officers. Daniels refutes that.</p><p>“Law enforcement officers will be better protected than before, not less so.&nbsp; 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,” Daniels stated. “The right thing to do is cooperate with them in every way possible. This law is not an invitation to use violence or force against law enforcement officers.&nbsp;In fact, it restricts when an individual can use force, specifically deadly force, on an officer, so don’t try anything.&nbsp; Chances are overwhelming you will be breaking the law and wind up in far worse trouble as a result.”</p><p>The law goes into effect on July 1<sup>st</sup>.</p></p> Wed, 21 Mar 2012 23:33:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/daniels-signs-police-entry-law-97521 Hoosier lawmakers bring session to an end http://www.wbez.org/story/hoosier-lawmakers-bring-session-end-97201 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2012-March/2012-03-11/RS5110_Indy GOP speaker Brian Bosma 2-scr.JPG" alt="" /><p><p>Back in early January, on the first day of the Indiana General Assembly session, hundreds of pro-union organizers greeted lawmakers as they came to work in Indianapolis.</p><p>It was loud, boisterous and heated as unions geared up for a fight with Republican lawmakers and tried to prevent a right-to-work bill from going through.</p><p>That fight was over weeks ago – with Republicans proving to be stronger by approving right-to-work legislation, which is now law in the state of Indiana.</p><p>The law prohibits companies from requiring employees to join a union as a condition of employment, even if a collective bargaining contract already in place calls for it.</p><p>But by Friday’s final day of the session, gone were the noise, shouts and political threats. All that remained were tired legislators looking to make last-minute changes to several bills.</p><p>The session officially ended at 2 a.m. Saturday, two hours after the required midnight close.</p><p>In the final day, lawmakers passed a bill that gives Hoosiers greater authority to resist illegal police entry into their homes.&nbsp;The law is in response to a ruling last year by the Indiana Supreme Court in the <em>Barnes v</em><em>.&nbsp;</em><em>Indiana </em>case. The ruling suggested residents could not refuse police entry into their homes, whether police officers came with a warrant or not.</p><p>Randy Head, a Republican from Logansport, Ind., says the legislature needed to address the issue because the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling was too broad.</p><p>“Bottom line for me under Barnes is that it says if a police officer is off duty and breaks into a house, clearly unlawfully, and steals something from that house or hurts someone in that house or sets fire to that house,” Head told Indiana Public Broadcasting, “the homeowner has to say, ‘Officer, stop or I’m going to sue you later.’”</p><p>But some lawmakers say the law complicates the issue even more for both the public and police.</p><p>The legislation says residents can only use force against police if they feel their life is in danger.</p><p>In the<em> Barnes</em>&nbsp;case, police in the far southwestern Indiana city of Evansville responded to a domestic abuse case.&nbsp;When police arrived, the estranged wife of a man thought to be harming her refused police entry into their home.</p><p>Police entered despite the objections of the husband, who claimed all was well.</p><p>In other action, lawmakers passed a bill that prohibits public smoking in certain places, but there are many exceptions.&nbsp;Smokers can still light up in casinos, bars, private clubs and veteran organization facilities like VFW halls. &nbsp;The law is viewed as so weak, however, that the American Heart Association pulled its support of the law.</p><p>House speaker Brian Bosma, a Republican, says a lot was accomplished this year.</p><p>“Safe to say we’ve seen the strongest reform-minded General Assembly, at least in institutional memory and perhaps in recent history,” Bosma said.</p><p>Twenty members of the Indiana General Assembly, including longtime Democratic Northwest Indiana legislators Dan Stevenson of Highland and Chet Dobis of Merrillville, are retiring from state politics.</p></p> Mon, 12 Mar 2012 05:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/hoosier-lawmakers-bring-session-end-97201 Indiana court upholds ruling on police entry http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-court-upholds-ruling-police-entry-92243 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-20/RS4317_AP110525052582-lpr.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Indiana Supreme Court is upholding a ruling that Hoosiers cannot resist police officers who enter their homes without warrants.</p><p>The original case goes back to 2007, when a Southern Indiana woman called officers about a domestic dispute. Her husband refused to let police enter their home, but they did anyway.</p><p>In May the state’s highest court ruled the police did not violate the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment rights against unlawful entry. The ruling sparked immediate outrage: The court received threats, citizens held demonstrations and Hoosier lawmakers asked the court to reconsider its decision.</p><p>But in a ruling Tuesday, the justices held firm.</p><p>Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller laid out the effects of the court’s latest decision.</p><p>“The Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling [Tuesday] means that individuals still have the common law right of reasonable resistance to an unlawful entry, though there is never justification for committing battery against a police officer. In volatile domestic violence situations, police have the right to enter a home to ensure safety of others, but today’s ruling also means the individual has the right to stand against his locked door to protect his home and communicate with police outside without a physical altercation,” Zoeller said. “While the Legislature considers whether to revise the existing statute, we respect the Indiana Supreme Court’s ruling, which underscores that the individual’s constitutional right remains in force.”</p><p>The court’s majority argued that the ruling does nothing more than bring Indiana law into stride with other states and that the argument that "a man's home is his castle" is not a justifiable defense of attacking a police officer.</p><p>The reference to force being used against an officer comes from the particulars of the original case, which began with the arrest of Richard Barnes in Evansville. In late 2007 Evansville police tried to enter Barnes’ home after being called to quell a domestic disturbance between Barnes and his wife.</p><p>According to court records, Barnes told officers that they were not needed. Barnes and his wife tried heading back to their apartment. Police followed and then asked to be allowed inside. Barnes refused and shoved an officer. The officer entered anyway and subdued Barnes. Police eventually charged Barnes and a court convicted him on a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest. The Indiana Supreme Court upheld Barnes’ conviction in Tuesday's ruling.</p><p>Barnes’ attorney, Erin Berger, has not said if she plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.</p></p> Wed, 21 Sep 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/indiana-court-upholds-ruling-police-entry-92243