Washington State House Democrats


Major Changes Recommended for Use of Deadly Force by Law Enforcement

OLYMPIA — After months of meetings where task force members heard from police, prosecutors, stakeholders, and community members, the Joint Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing voted on 30 recommendations to send to the legislature for its consideration. Of those, 15 recommendation were approved by the task force, including:

  • Increased funding for the Criminal Justice Training Center that emphasizes de-escalation and alternatives to arrest and involves members of communities of color in training;
  • Establishes civilian oversight of police accountability practices, creates a safe mechanism to submit formal complaints against officers, and mandates statewide collection of data involving use of force including reporting use of deadly force to the Attorney General’s Office;
  • Recommends the Legislature fund grants for local law enforcement to equip less lethal weapons and provide financial incentives for law enforcement agencies and jails to receive professional accreditation; and,
  • Removes “malice” and “good faith” from the statute when determining whether a law enforcement officer should be charged, and adds a reasonable officer standard in their place.

State Representative Roger Goodman (D – Kirkland), who serves as the task force co-chair and chair of the House Public Safety Committee, helped lead the committee throughout the process.

“This has been a long and difficult process, with some hard and uncomfortable conversations. But it was needed. I’m very proud of the work we’ve done and the problems we’ve identified and look forward to continuing the conversation into the 2017 legislative session,” said Goodman.

State Representative Roger Goodman and State Senator David Frockt at hearing
Rep. Goodman with State Sen. David Frockt (D – Seattle) at the hearing Monday morning

The full list of recommendations considered can be found on the joint task force webpage here and the vote tallies for each recommendation is below:

#A1 adopted as amended 24-0
#B1 removed from consideration by sponsor
#B2 adopted as amended 14-10
#B3 removed from consideration by sponsor
#B4 not adopted as amended 2-18-4
#C1a not adopted as amended 13-11-2
#C1b adopted 18-4
#C1c not adopted 12-10
#C1d adopted 17-3-2
#C1e adopted 19-3
#C1f adopted 18-4
#C1g as amended adopted 18-2-2
#C1h adopted 16-2-5
#D1 removed from consideration by sponsor
#E1-1 adopted 19-1
#E1-2 removed from consideration by sponsor
#E1-3 not adopted 5-14-1
#E1-4 removed from consideration by sponsor
#F1 adopted 20-0
#F2 not adopted 5-11-5
#F3 adopted 17-0-2
#F4 tabled
#F5 adopted 17-2-1
#F6 as amended adopted 19-0
#G1 removed from consideration by sponsor
#G2 as amended adopted 20-0
#H1-1 not adopted 4-14-2
#H1-2 as amended adopted 20-0
#I1 removed from consideration by sponsor
#J1 removed from consideration by sponsor