If no one is at the home, cops and locksmiths are going into the homes in order to shut off the gas valve. The utility, National Grid, said its crews would be returning to the homes to turn gas meters back on once the problem is identified.
Taking into account the bad things that are associated with a "distribution problem" (i.e. gas leak), there doesn't seem to be a provision in the Constitution that gives authorities the right to enter a home without probable cause, permission or a warrant. Also, can't gas lines be accessed from outside a customer's home?
In May an Indianapolis Supreme Court, on a 3-2 vote, overturned a common law that dated back to the English Magna Carta of 1215 when it ruled that even when police are entering illegally, Indiana residents had no right to resist them. So much for the old axiom, "Your home is your castle."
"We believe a right to resist an unlawful police entry into a home is against public policy and is incompatible with modern Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," Justice Steven David wrote for the court. He is saying essentially that cops in the state could enter anyone's home for improper reasons - or no reason at all. "We also find that allowing resistance unnecessarily escalates the level of violence and therefore the risk of injuries to all parties involved without preventing the arrest."
So in other words, resisting this illegal entry could be hazardous to your health. Public safety is a legitimate concern, but so, too, is the expectation of a little privacy in your own home.
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