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Bill criminalizing people within 25 feet of police when told to stop headed to governor

A window with a neon sign that says "police" reflects a county courthouse building.
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
IPB News
Members of the public who get within 25 feet of on-duty police after being told to stop would commit a Class C misdemeanor under legislation headed to the governor's desk.

On-duty police can get a 25-foot bubble around them that the public can’t cross under legislation headed to the governor’s desk.

Crossing that invisible barrier after being told to stop could land someone in jail for up to 60 days.

Proponents of the bill, HB 1186, say allowing police to order members of the public back at least 25 feet helps ensure officer safety.

Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) originally voted for the bill. He considered situations where, in a public, outdoor area, police should get room to work and thought that was appropriate.

READ MORE: Bill would criminalize bystanders who get within 25 feet of police after being told to stop

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But he said concerns were raised – and never addressed – about situations where 25 feet isn’t really possible.

“You know, what happens if you’re literally in your house and the police are on the porch," Pierce said. "Or what if you’re in an apartment complex and you’ve got different apartments. You’ve got a lot of different scenarios there.”

The House vote to send the bill to the governor’s desk was 68-26, with members of both parties voting for and against.

Brandon is our Statehouse bureau chief. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

Brandon Smith has covered the Statehouse for Indiana Public Broadcasting for more than a decade, spanning three governors and a dozen legislative sessions. He's also the host of Indiana Week in Review, a weekly political and policy discussion program seen and heard across the state. He previously worked at KBIA in Columbia, Missouri and WSPY in Plano, Illinois. His first job in radio was in another state capitol - Jefferson City, Missouri - as a reporter for three stations around the Show-Me State.