4/24/2017

Overtime session on police deadly use of force

Washington's legislature ran out the regular session yesterday and began a special overtime session to deal with issues they were unable to resolve during the regular session. The biggest of these issues is, of course, school funding: Republicans refuse to compromise and allow new revenue for schools. There are several other very important issues up in the air, though. 

One of those issues is police use of deadly force. This year the legislature considered changing WA state's law that prevents the prosecution of police officers for assault or murder unless it can be proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the officer acted with malice--a higher bar than almost any other state in the country. The current law makes it almost impossible to even charge police officers with a violent crime; for example, the officer who shot Philando Castile during a traffic stop in Minnesota last year could not have been charged under WA state law. The legislature is considering a variety of proposals that would bring WA state law more in line with national law and reccommendations from legal experts. Call and remind them that removing the 'malice clause' from this law is a high priority and must be accomplished this year.

More info: Legislature mulls changes to police use of deadly force 'malice' law; Where things stand in Washington's Legislature

Who to call: All three of your state legislators. Find your Legislative District and their info using this widget

Script

Hi, my name is [name] and I'm a constituent from [address]. I'm calling about the proposed changes to the law about police use of deadly force. I strongly support changing the law to delete the 'malice clause.' Police are part of the community, not overseers, and when they make mistakes they need to be held accountable just like anyone else. Please work to get this legislation passed during this overtime session. Thank you.