Law enforcement officers get a 25-foot bubble around them that the public can’t cross when told to stop under a bill that’s a step away from the governor’s desk.
The Senate approved the controversial measure, HB 1186, mostly along party lines Tuesday.
The bill is pretty straightforward – if a person comes within 25 feet of an on-duty police officer after being told to stop, they would now commit a Class C misdemeanor. That’s punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Lawmakers of both parties tried to change the bill in the Senate. Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) wanted to make an exception for parents, when police have their child.
“We don’t have the right to interfere with the police officer; we don’t have the right to bump the police officer … but we should have the right to be with our minor child,” Young said.
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Sen. Aaron Freeman (R-Indianapolis), the bill’s sponsor, said he understands that impulse.
“But ... when somebody wearing a uniform says ‘Stop, back up,’ I think you should stop and back up for that amount of time,” Freeman said.
Sen. Lonnie Randolph (D-East Chicago) had a blunter view of the bill.
“It protects bad cops, that’s what it does,” Randolph said.
The bill is headed back to the House for further consideration.