In 2018, I voted for Initiative 940 to address this state’s outlier status on police use of deadly force. I-940 required statewide curriculum on de-escalation training, changed the justifiable use of deadly force law, required first aid at the scene, addressed investigations and required community at the table in decision making.
All this has not been enough to change how police use deadly force, however. The Washington Coalition for Police Accountability formed in late May, with families impacted by police violence at its center, to bring about more impactful change. These families identified priorities for legislation that were the next steps after I-940.
I want to encourage broad support of this work and hope everyone reading will take the time to contact their legislators and ask them to vote yes on House Bill 1267, HB 1310, and Senate Bill 5051, as they have on HB 1054.
Together, these four bills will address how police do their everyday jobs; will reduce overpolicing and profiling; will hold police accountable for misconduct; will involve community in the work; and will provide a thorough, professional and credible criminal investigation into police use of deadly force.
Candace Tkachuck, Seattle