Legislation to Address Police Use of Deadly Force

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Representative Luis Moscoso introduced a bill to address police use of deadly force, HB 2907 on January 26th, 2016. ACLU of Washington Executive Director Kathleen Taylor responded with the following:

“This legislation provides much-needed guidance to law enforcement officers statewide on the use of deadly force. It rightly allows officers to use deadly force only if they reasonably believe that there is an imminent threat of serious harm to themselves or other persons.  The bill will ensure that officers are better equipped to handle difficult interactions with the community they serve and will increase trust between law enforcement and the community.

“We should expect that law enforcement officers, as trained professionals, exercise the utmost care in using deadly weapons. But under current state law, officers cannot be charged for the unjustified use of deadly force unless they act with “malice.” This law has made it nearly impossible for the public to hold officers accountable for the wrongful use of deadly force and has hindered our ability to ensure justice for all.”