by Kari Plog
(This article was previously published by KNKX and has been reprinted with permission.)
Gov. Jay Inslee traveled to Tacoma on Tuesday, May 18, to sign a suite of police accountability measures that were passed by the State Legislature earlier this year.
The bill signing happened at the Eastside Community Center, just five miles from the intersection where Manuel Ellis was killed by Tacoma police last year.
All of the speakers, including state lawmakers and Tacoma Mayor Victoria Woodards, acknowledged the historic nature of the measures — a dozen in total — that aim to address systemic racism in policing.
“These bills are all going to work in coordination with one another to create a system of accountability and integrity stronger than anywhere else in the nation,” Inslee said in his opening remarks.
Continue reading Manuel Ellis’ Death Looms Large at Tacoma Bill Signings Even Without His Family There
by Chetanya Robinson
A bill that would ban law enforcement from using chokeholds and neck restraints on people, end no-knock warrants, and take military weapons out of police hands is up for a hearing in the Washington State Senate this week. Another would require police to de-escalate and use deadly force only when necessary, changing the standard currently enshrined in law.
Continue reading Ground-Breaking Police Accountability Bills Pass the House, Await Senate Consideration
by Paul Kiefer
(This article originally appeared in PubliCola and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
On December 24, Washington State Reps. Debra Entenman (D-47) and Jesse Johnson (D-20) filed legislation that would set statewide restrictions on law enforcement tactics, including bans on chokeholds, tear gas and the use of unleashed police dogs for arrests. Less than a week later, state senators Manka Dhingra (D-45) and Jaime Pedersen (D-43) filed a related bill that would expand the jurisdiction of the state’s Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC), a group appointed by the governor that has the power to certify and decertify law enforcement officers — to give or revoke their license to work as a law enforcement officer in the state.
In the upcoming state legislative session, another half-dozen members of the house and senate Democratic caucuses plan to add their own bills to the pile of state-level reform proposals that, if passed, could dramatically reshape the role of the state government in law enforcement accountability.
Continue reading Police Accountability Is on the Agenda in the Upcoming Legislative Session