Indiana dabbles with open season on police

Indiana, dreaming of the OK Corral, now has a law specifying circumstances permitting citizens to shoot police officers.

As it happens, there’s a healthy debate in Utah about how law enforcement conducts drug raids. Public scrutiny of police operations is a check and balance against potential overzealous police operations and policies. But taking this general issue all the way to the other end to codify justifiable shooting of officers is craziness.

Police already have a frightening, dangerous job. Holding out a potential free pass for gunmen to shoot first is only a recipe for making some officers trigger-happy. Indiana defense attorneys are drooling.

The National Rifle Association worked through its flunkies in the Indiana Legislature to pass the shoot-a-cop law. Gov. Mitch Daniels, touted as a Republican vice presidential nominee, signed the bill into law. Thanks, NRA. I’m sure similar laws will be sprouting in other states now. The gun lobby apparently won’t be happy until it’s Tombstone on American streets.

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6 Responses to Indiana dabbles with open season on police

  1. Brent Glines says:

    From the SE’s own editorial, there is this:

    “Young cited a hypothetical situation of a homeowner returning to see an officer raping his daughter or wife. Under the court’s ruling, the homeowner could not touch the officer and only file a lawsuit later, he said. Young said he devised the idea for the law after the court ruling.”

    Further, there have been grievious errors committed in executing no-knock warrents as well. The case of Jose Guerena is particularly troubling to my mind.

    It’s a difficult problem, but this law seeks to provide innocent civilians with their only defense in the case of police wrong doing. If police are worried that citizens have “a potential free pass” to shoot a policemen, should citizens be less worried that police officers have a “free pass” to shoot them?

    If nothing else, laws like this may encourage police to exercise extra care in the performance of their duties. That would go a long way to alleviating concerns on both sides.

  2. Greg Cherryson says:

    If the police are dealing with a criminal, the possibility that the criminal may shoot first is just a part of the job description. The criminal doesn’t need any law to do it.

    If, on the other hand, the police want to bully an honest citizen with impunity, then, well, they SHOULD BE AFRAID that the citizen may shoot them, completely legally.

    Good law!

  3. The police murdered Todd Blair and got away with it. That is why the above editorial is wrong and silly.

  4. Rands,C says:

    it is hard to respect the laws and law enforcment when thay feal above the law we see cops drive with no regard for proper rules &regulations every day we see cops harass one citicen but not the next a ‘policeperson’ can choose what laws he will&won,t enforce we as a sociaty refuse to hold our “leaders”acountable to the law what do we expect????

  5. Tom says:

    Right on the money Brent.
    It is the proliferation of these infernal swat teams and their violence in praying on petty criminals and even innocent people that is the real problem. I mean really, how many swat teams and strike forces like the one that got their lunches handed to them by Stewart does the state and area need? If they have them they will use them, and seeing that there are so few real legitimate situations that require this type of police action what ends up happening is they are used more and more against minor offenses – just because they are available and need to justify their existence.
    Another case in point beyond the current Stewart fiasco and the horrible and evil murder of Todd Blair, both over allegations of minor amounts of drugs, is the case in Farmington a couple of years ago where a local fireman got in an argument with his wife, got a little mentally irregular, holed up in his pick up truck in the drive way where he was harassed and harried by the swat team using flash bang grenades and a bunch of other aggressive tactics. After many hours of this stupid game he got out of the truck and they killed him with a rifle shot through the head. The swat team escalated the situation which most likely would have ended much differently had the very capable Farmington police, who were friends with the guy, handled the case from start to finish. Once the swat team showed up they would not let any one else – family, friends or local cops – make any contact with the troubled guy. We will never know, but it is highly likely that one or more of these people close to him could have talked him down. But no, the swat team had to have their kill and Farmington lost a good citizen, a good friend, father and fireman.

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