Renewed push to better protect Indiana convenience store workers

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (June 6, 2014) — There’s a renewed push to pass a law to better protect convenience store workers.

It comes two days after Harry Briggs, 45, was shot in a convenience store hold up on the southwest side. The push comes from a man, who’s sister in-law was shot in the head while she was working at an Indianapolis convenience store two years ago. Perry Tole says had Marcy Birnell been shielded from her shooter, she may have spared the pain of being hit by a robber’s bullet. That same thinking applies in Harry Briggs’s case from Wednesday.

The gunfire, yelling and the surveillance video of the robber skipping away after shooting a store clerk in the head has gotten a lot of people’s attention. They are some of the events that played out late Wednesday night at Joe’s Junction on W. Troy Ave near S. Lynhurst Dr.

“These are preventable, preventable incidents,” Tole said.

Since his sister in-law was shot, Tole has been fighting to give convenience store workers more protection. Under Marcy’s Law, there would be bullet proof glass, a panic button, and two employees after hours who are trained to handle dangerous situations.

“All those things are factors that were in the bill I had,” said State Rep. Ed Delaney. “It’s all laid out, it’s fair, it’s got levels depending on the history of the store and so forth, the hours. And, we set up a system that was negotiated with the industry and the industry walked away from it.”

“What goes through the minds of these indianapolis politicians? If somebody comes to you lobbying and says ‘Do not pass legislation that’s going to protect a worker from being killed.’ What goes through your mind that you would accept his argument as opposed to saying ‘Well, we want workers to be protected’,” Tole said.

The fight to pass Marcy’s Law will press on next legislative session. Meanwhile, Harry Briggs fights for his life after, he too, took a bullet to his head.

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