Unless you have been under a self-imposed media blackout in the past couple of weeks, you are familiar with the death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. This shooting of 16-year-old Martin — who was killed by 28-year-old old neighborhood watch-captain George Zimmerman — raises serious questions relating to race, police procedure, and the efficacy of Florida’s “stand your ground” legislation. The shooting was tragic. The conduct of Zimmerman and the police handling of the investigation leave many unanswered questions. But this death of a young man also underscores a point that law enforcement groups in Indiana were attempting to make several weeks ago before the state legislature.
The Indiana situation, of course, involves the “right to resist” legislation passed by the State Senate and House of Representatives before a finalized version was sent to the Governor and signed into law late last week. The Indiana Senate, in response to public outrage over the Indiana Supreme Court’s May 2011 decision in Barnes v. Indiana, decided to revise the state’s use-of-force statute to provide a citizen the right to lawfully resist law enforcement officers who the citizen reasonably believes may be illegally entering his home.
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