By CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd

DENVER (CBS4) – A single dad fights for a change in state law after his son’s suicide is video recorded and shared on social media. Von Mercado says his 13-year-old son took his life last year as other kids recorded it.

“They egged him on I think,” Mercado said.

Von Mercado (credit: CBS)

He says one of those teens then downloaded the video and shared it on social media, pressuring five of the boy’s friends to attempt suicide.

“It makes me very, very angry… I talked to the police and they said nothing they can do.”

(credit: Mercado family)

It’s not a crime to video record someone’s suicide, post it online and try to convince other kids to do the same. Rep. Lori Saine plans to change that.

She introduced a bill that would make it a civil infraction on a first offense and misdemeanor on a second offense to tape and share a minor’s suicide with the intent to harass, intimidate or coerce.

Rep. Lori Saine (credit: CBS)

“There’s actors out there right now who will probably do this again. I hate to see a situation where we have another suicide contagion happening and we didn’t do anything about it.”

Rep. Adrienne Benavidez (credit: CBS)

But Rep. Adrienne Benavidez says education not criminalization is the answer.

“I feel terrible for the families impacted by this, but we have to get it right. We can’t ruin other children’s lives forever because of this which may drive them to that,” Benavidez said.

Mercado agrees education is needed, but says so are consequences.

(credit: CBS)

“It could prevent somebody from doing the same thing.” His son was named after him, Little Von, “He was very, very special to me,” he said.

The bill is expected to pass the House, but may not make it through the Senate before the session ends Friday.

Shaun Boyd