The new law, which takes effect immediately, “clarifies the current requirement that a person reasonably believe the law enforcement officer is acting unlawfully,” Daniels said, and adds a new requirement that the force “must be reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the citizen.”
Unless the citizen is convinced that the officer acted unlawfully, “he cannot use any force of any kind.”
“In the real world,” Daniels said, “there will almost never be a situation in which these extremely narrow conditions are met.”
Still, the fears that some people may perceive the law as a license to defy police are strong enough that the Indiana State Police followed up Daniels’ statement with its own.
“This law may be misunderstood by the public,” State Police Capt. Dave Bursten said. “My biggest fear is a homeowner, in the heat of the moment, will think an officer is entering their home illegally, when in fact the officer has every legal right to enter the home. . . . The bottom line is rash decisions can have devastating, life-altering consequences.”