Crime

Woman arrested for getting too close to police investigation

While police moved a person arrested into an ambulance, a woman allegedly stepped near the officers, which is a violation of a new Indiana law.

Exterior photo of the Lawrence, Indiana, police department.
The Lawrence, Indiana, police department.
Scripps News Indianapolis
SMS

Earlier this week, police in Lawrence, Indiana, arrested a woman for breaking a law passed by Indiana state legislators this year. 

According to a probable cause affidavit, Lawrence officers were serving a felony warrant when a woman continued to allegedly disobey a new law in Indiana that requires bystanders to back up 25 feet when police request it. 

The incident is believed to be the first arrest tied to the new law.

While they were moving the person arrested into an ambulance, the woman allegedly stepped near the officers. She was requested to move back at least 25 feet, according to court records. 

When asked, the woman stated "This is an ambulance, not your police car." Police then detained the woman. 

After being handcuffed, the woman complained that the handcuffs were too tight, according to court documents. Officers loosened the handcuffs and the woman pulled her hand out. 

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The woman could face charges of escape, resisting law enforcement and unlawful encroachment of an investigation.  She has yet to be formally charged. Until she is, Scripps News will not name her. 

In August, the ACLU of Indiana filed a lawsuit to stop the enforcement of the law. The ACLU said the new law is an "overt attempt to gut First Amendment protections for observing and recording police activity."

"While Indiana’s new law does not explicitly bar people from filming officers, the law essentially gives police unchecked authority to prohibit citizens from observing their actions, even if the citizens are not interfering with the police — clearly threatening Hoosiers’ free speech rights," the ACLU said. 

This story was originally published by James Howell Jr. at Scripps News Indianapolis.