Dear neighbors,

Last weekend a shocking incident of police use of undue deadly force rocked our community. I am horrified by this event, which took place just three blocks from my home.  My thoughts remain with those who were injured and the City as we grapple with how to achieve healing and safety after this devastating event.

It is clear that a comprehensive package of urgent policy solutions is warranted in our state by this action and many others.  Too many others.

I want to put an end to such abuses by the police.  My colleagues and I have introduced bills to reform policing and enforce accountability for abuses of police power.  I want to share with you what your Legislature is doing about this historic and painfully persistent problem.  I am a co-sponsor on 7 of the 8 bills that originate in the Senate and will vote for all bills when they come to the Law and Justice Committee and to the floor of the Senate.

SB 5051/HB 1082 would provide timely and effective enforcement of state standards for law enforcement officers, allowing the Criminal Justice Training Commission to discipline officers who abuse the privilege of carrying a badge and gun.

SB 5066 would establish clear standards for police officers to intervene when fellow officers use force unjustly and to report any wrongdoing by fellow officers.

SB 5259/HB 1092 would establish comprehensive statewide reporting and publication for use-of-force incidents involving law enforcement.

HB 1054 would ban the use of chokeholds, neck restraints, unleashed police dogs, no-knock warrants, military equipment, and the practice of officers intentionally concealing their badges.

SB 5089 would increase minimum age and education requirements for new police officers.

SB 5263 would modify a 1986 law that has prevented people who have been killed or injured by police from recovering damages from police departments.

SB 5055 would improve transparency, professionalism and equity of the arbitration process for law enforcement collective bargaining.

SB 5067/HB 1088 would shed light on officers who are not credible witnesses because of their previous conduct.

SB 5069/HB 1089 would bring transparency to investigations into police uses of deadly force.

HB 1267 would mandate the independent investigation of deadly uses of force, custodial deaths, and other officer-involved incidents.

This comprehensive package is informed by data, research, and human rights principles.  We deserve these changes.

In my office, we want to hear what you think about these and other issues affecting our community.  We will continue to welcome your thoughts and concerns, so please let us know what issues are important to you and your loved ones at this time.  And before you go…

Logo: Emergency Management Division of Washington written in a circle around a logo showing "E.M." in front of a background of mountains with stars above and a U.S. flag behind.

A message from the Washington Emergency Management Division

At 11 a.m., Feb. 25, the Washington Emergency Management Division (EMD) and the U.S. Geological Survey will jointly send a Wireless Emergency Alert test message across many wireless devices in King, Pierce and Thurston counties. This is a test in the run-up to our launch later this year of an Earthquake Early Warning system in Washington state. The demonstration is being done the same month as the 20th anniversary of the 6.8 Nisqually earthquake, which happened on Feb. 28, 2001. To receive the test messages, mobile phone users must OPT IN.

For more information:

EMD website: https://mil.wa.gov/alerts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/waEMD/status/1354854206100803584

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WashEMD/posts/2107216162753753

That’s all for now! Take care.  Watch your distance.  Wash your hands.  Wear a mask.  And get vaccinated!

Sincerely,

Jeannie Darneille written in cursive (signature).

Sen. Jeannie Darneille