Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, released a statement Thursday following the Senate passage of House Bill 3003, which amends Initiative 940.
The initiative would update Washington state’s law on the use of deadly force in policing, and will appear on the November ballot.
“The agreement reached between law enforcement groups and DeEscalate Washington is one of the most profound and important agreements I have seen since my time in Olympia. For the last two years, first on the Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force and then in the 2017 legislative session, we sought common ground. We worked to remove the word ‘malice’ from this statute and find language that would create a fair, objective standard for police accountability.
The language of the legislation passed today is the result of lengthy discussions and a campaign to put I-940 before the legislature. This is a signature achievement that, unlike what we’ve seen with the Department of Justice in DC, attempts to bring law enforcement and communities together behind better training, conflict de-escalation and accountability – as well as a safer environment for police officers and the people who interact with them. This is a model for the rest of the country to follow.”
“In addition to this compromise, the Legislature made considerable investments in mental health this session, which should lessen the burden on our state’s law enforcement. The Senate passed Senate Bill 5970, which would provide funding to deploy mental health response teams with law enforcement. This, too, is exactly the kind of innovative reform that will improve police and community relations.”