Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday to set up a joint legislative task force to review laws, practices and training programs related to the use of deadly force by police in Washington and other states, including nonlethal alternatives.

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Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Friday to set up a joint legislative task force to review laws, practices and training programs related to the use of deadly force by police in Washington and other states, including nonlethal alternatives.

The task force will recommend best practices to reduce the number of violent interactions between law-enforcement officers and the public. A report to the governor and appropriate legislative committees is due by Dec. 1.

A bill that would have made it easier to bring criminal charges against police officers over the use of deadly force died earlier this year in the Legislature.

Shielded by the Law

Killings by police have surged over the past decade in Washington. But it’s nearly impossible to criminally charge police in state courts with the illegal use of deadly force on the job. Read our investigation.

The bill, which faced stiff opposition from law-enforcement leaders, would have removed language in state law barring police officers from being prosecuted for killing someone in the line of duty as long as they acted in good faith and without malice, or what is defined as “evil intent.”

The language, enacted in 1986, was the subject of a Seattle Times special report in September, which described the limitation as the most restrictive in the nation and a virtual curb on bringing murder or manslaughter charges, even if prosecutors concluded that an officer committed a wrongful killing.