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State asks judge to dismiss second lawsuit challenging law creating 25-foot bubble around police

A neon sign in the window of a courthouse reads "Police"
FILE PHOTO: Justin Hicks
/
IPB News
A new law criminalizes anyone who gets within 25 feet of law enforcement after being told to stop.

The state is asking a federal judge to dismiss a second lawsuit challenging a new law that criminalizes anyone who gets within 25 feet of police after being told to stop.

A group of media organizations and Indianapolis newspaper and television stations sued the state in October over the law. They argue it is unconstitutional, allowing law enforcement to prevent the press from documenting police activity.

But attorneys for the state argue the lawsuit should be dismissed because it’s purely hypothetical. The media outlets and organizations haven’t been affected by the law, and the state said they haven’t shown that they likely will be.

READ MORE: Suit seeks to strike down law criminalizing bystanders who get within 25 feet of police

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The state also said this lawsuit shouldn’t move forward because there’s already another lawsuit — filed earlier, in August — challenging the law. That case involves a citizen in South Bend who regularly films law enforcement for his YouTube channel. And the new 25-foot bubble was applied to him by police at the scene of a shooting.

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

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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.