The mother of a Wichita man killed by police in a so-called swatting incident is in Washington D.C. today asking lawmakers to protect innocent people.
Swatting is when someone calls 9-1-1 with a false emergency to send SWAT teams to a particular address.
Lawmakers are working to stop these prank calls that can turn deadly.
“I heard him scream and I will never forget that sound,” explained Lisa Finch, mother of swatting victim Andrew Finch.
Lisa says a prank call to police killed her son Andrew.
“He was 28 years old when he was murdered,” said Lisa. “There was a swatting call made and they gave our address as the residence they wanted swatted.”
Wichita police thought they were responding to a hostage situation. Instead, the caller was in Los Angeles reporting a crime that never happened.
Kansas Congressman Ron Estes introduced a bill to hold prank callers accountable.
“Making sure that somebody doesn’t use telephone lines across state and across country boundaries to file a false emergency call,” explained Congressman Ron Estes, R, KS 4th District. “There’s no law on the books right now that stops that or prevents that.”
His bill, named after Lisa’s son Andrew, would make swatting punishable by up to 20 years in prison if someone is seriously hurt as a result of the call.
Lisa Finch is in Washington to meet with members of the Black Caucus to talk about more legislation to help police identify and handle fake calls.
On the state level, lawmakers passed a bill that would create harsher penalties for people who make swatting calls.
Governor Jeff Colyer signed it into law, and it takes effect July 1.