Mother of 'swatting' victim testifies in support of Kansas bill

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Andrew Finch Andrew Finch

Lisa Finch on Tuesday stood before lawmakers in Topeka to show her support for House Bill 2581, what's being called the "swatting bill."

Her son, 28-year-old Andrew, was shot and killed by a Wichita police officer who was responding to a false emergency call in December.

"My life has changed forever," Lisa Finch said. "But I am trying to think logically and positive, because my faith is what has gotten me through this.”

Prosecutors allege 25-year-old Tyler Barriss was in Los Angeles when he called police with a fake story about a shooting and kidnapping at a home. Police responded to the address, where an officer fatally shot Finch after Finch opened his door.

Lisa Finch, along with other supporters of the bill, spoke before the Corrections and Juvenile Justice Committee in hopes of moving the legislation forward. 

"The most important thing that this legislation would accomplish is to deter others from doing the same thing in the future," said Rep. John Carmichael, one of the lawmakers who introduced the bill. 

Finch said the bill is a step in the right direction. But in her case, it does not penalize the officer who pulled the trigger

"Although the caller is at fault, he's not the one that put the bullet in my son," she said.

The swatting bill focuses on punishing the person who makes a false report. 

Witness to swatting incident shares story

Family of Wichita man killed in 'swatting' incident sues city

"If the call such as what happened in Wichita were to occur after the enactment of this law then the penalty would be between nine and 40 years in prison, depending on the offender's prior criminal record," Rep. Carmichael said.

Finch and several other supporters are also urging lawmakers to change the bill's name in honor of Andrew. 

"I want to put in there, please ask them to name after my son. I mean that would carry on his legacy.

Barriss is charged with involuntary manslaughter, giving false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer. He has a history of making such hoax calls.

The officer who shot and killed Finch -- whose name has not been released -- remains on administrative leave.

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