House passes anti-swatting Andrew Finch Act

Andrew Finch was shot by the police after a "swatting" prank. He was 28-year-old and from Wichita, Kansas. | Photo Undated

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW/KWCH) - The Kansas House unanimously passed a measure stiffening penalties for making a fake call to law enforcement.

Thursday's vote, dealing with the practice known as swatting, advances the bill to the Senate.

The measure is named for Andrew Finch, a Wichita man who was shot and killed by police who responded to his home Dec. 28 because of a 911 call about a shooting and kidnapping. It increases penalties and the severity of the crime of calling law enforcement without valid reason.

Lawmakers did have some disagreement during Thursday's floor debate over name the bill for Finch while the case surrounding his death remains under investigation. However, Rep. Tom Sawyer, D-Wichita, argued it was not the death itself that was under investigation, but the officer's decision to fire the fatal shot and whether that decision followed proper protocol with the Wichita Police Dept.

Tyler Barris, 25, of Los Angeles is charged with involuntary manslaughter, giving false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer for making the call that led to Finch's death.