Suit seeks to strike down law criminalizing bystanders who get within 25 feet of police
The ACLU of Indiana is challenging a new state law that criminalizes anyone who gets within 25 feet of on-duty police after being told to stop.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a man who posts videos online of police activity.
Donald Nicodemus runs a YouTube channel called “Freedom 2 Film,” on which he posts videos of what he calls “news worthy activities” in and around South Bend, where he lives.
In a recent video, a police officer at a scene of a shooting walks off 25 feet and tells Nicodemus to stay behind it. A second officer then comes over and tells Nicodemus to back up a further 25 feet, citing the new state law, HEA 1186.
Join the conversation and sign up for the Indiana Two-Way. Text "Indiana" to 73224. Your comments and questions in response to our weekly text help us find the answers you need on statewide issues.
The ACLU said the law violates the First Amendment by giving police “unchecked authority” to stop people from getting close enough to observe their actions, even if those people aren’t interfering with law enforcement.
The lawsuit asks a federal judge to strike down the law as unconstitutional.