The Latest: Kansas governor signs bill against ‘swatting’
WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — The Latest on the fallout from the shooting of an unarmed Wichita man by a police officer (all times local):
Kansas Gov. Jeff Colyer has signed legislation that will increase the penalties for making hoax emergency calls when they lead to the injuries or deaths of others.
Colyer announced Thursday that he signed the measure designed to combat “swatting” to send a message that the behavior is unacceptable. Legislators passed the bill in response to the fatal shooting of an unarmed 28-year-old Wichita man by a police officer in December.
Andrew Finch was shot after police responded to a California man’s hoax call about a killing and kidnapping at Finch’s home.
The new law takes effect July 1 and calls for a presumed sentence of more than 12 years in prison for a first conviction when a hoax causes someone’s death. The toughest prison sentence now is nine months.
The police officer who fired the shot that killed a man during a hoax emergency call will not face criminal charges.
District Attorney Marc Bennett announced the decision Thursday, saying there was reasonable concern at the time Andrew Finch may have been armed with a weapon.
The unarmed 28-year-old Wichita man was shot Dec. 28 by police responding to a California man’s hoax call about a killing and kidnapping at Finch’s home.
Police have said Finch was told to keep his hands raised, but reached toward his waistline. An officer standing across the street shot him when he reached his hands up suddenly.
The shooting drew national attention to a practice called “swatting,” in which a person makes up a false report to get responders to descend on an address.