Updated August 1, 2017
The Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing completed its work and submitted its final report to the governor and Legislature on December 1, 2016.
The 2017 legislative session convened on January 9. Legislators considered the following proposals related to the work of the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing.
- HB 1000 / SB 5000 – Concerning the use of deadly force by law enforcement and corrections officers.
- HB 1529 / SB 5073 – Concerning recommendations from the joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing.
- HB 1769 – Supporting law enforcement’s efforts to implement the recommendations of the joint legislative task force on the use of deadly force in community policing.
Advocates for police accountability proposed legislation, House Bill 2907, to change state law on the legally permissible uses of deadly force by police officers. Currently, a public officer or peace officer cannot be held criminally liable for using deadly force when it is used without malice and with a good faith belief that the use is permitted under the law.
Although the bill did not pass, the Legislature approved House Bill 2908 in 2016, which established the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing. The Task Force submitted a report to the Governor and the appropriate committees of the Legislature on December 1, 2016.
The Task Force reviewed:
- laws, practices, and training programs regarding the use of deadly force in Washington state and other states;
- current policies, practices, and tools used by or otherwise available to law enforcement as an alternative to lethal uses of force, including tasers and other nonlethal weapons; and
- proposals and recommend modifications to the standards for justifiable homicide and criminal liability standards in statute to assure adequate protection for law enforcement and the community.
Joint Legislative Task Force Meetings
Representative Roger Goodman and Senator Kirk Pearson co-chaired the Task Force and its 26 members. Toshiko Hasegawa represented CAPAA, JACL Seattle, and the Asian Pacific Directors Coalition (APDC) on the Task Force. View the full list of Task Force Members and staff.
- June 28, 2016
- Tuesday, July 26, 2016
- September 13, 2016
- November 21, 2016
Community Report Back Meetings Hosted by CAPAA
The purpose of these meetings is to inform community members about the goals of the Task Force, provide a recap of the Task Force meetings, and ensure CAPAA’s representative on the Task Force hears your feedback and concerns.
- July 20, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Agenda)
- August 25, 2016 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM (Agenda)
- King County: January 4, 2017 from 6:00 – 8:00 PM (Flyer)
- Pierce County: January 5, 2017 from 6:30 – 8:30 PM (Flyer)
- Tacoma News Tribune: Reform advocates upset over pushback over changing malice law (July 29, 2016)
- Northwest Asian Weekly: Task force on police use of deadly force – set to implode or find common ground? (August 18, 2016)
- International Examiner: Members on Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing say community voices face uphill battle (August 23, 2016)
- The Stranger: The Most Important Police Reform Group You’ve Never Heard of—and How It’s Failing to Do Its Job (August 24, 2016)
- The Stranger: Lawmaker Admits Task Force on Fatal Police Shootings Has Been “Putting Off” Discussion of Controversial Law (September 8, 2016)
- Seattle Times: NFL protest and the law that protects police from prosecution (September 9, 2016)
- Tacoma News Tribune: Decision not to charge police in Pasco killing sparks more calls for legal reform (September 12, 2016)
- Tacoma News Tribune: State task force divided on whether it should be easier to prosecute police in Washington (September 13, 2016)
- Northwest Asian Weekly: Task force on police use of deadly force … two-yard gains yet? (September 30, 2016)
- The Stranger: Committee on Police Deadly Force Looks Ready to Support Major Changes to State Law (November 17, 2016)
- KOMO: Seahawks’ Baldwin speaks to legislative panel on police deadly force, urges changes (November 21, 2016)
- Seattle Times: Task force recommends changing state law on police use of deadly force (November 21, 2016)
- Tacoma News Tribune: Task force advice: Change police use of force law (November 21, 2016)
- The Stranger: Politicians, Seahawk Doug Baldwin Call for Police Deadly Force Law Reform (November 23, 2016)
- Northwest Asian Weekly: Deadly use of force committee recommendations: two yards gained or a touchdown? (January 6, 2017)
- The Olympian: Is compromise possible on changing police use of deadly force law? Some lawmakers are trying (January 17, 2017)
- Seattle Times, Op-Ed: Bills prioritize liberty, dignity and respect in lethal-force rules (January 17, 2017)
- Crosscut: Lawmakers look at ending carte blanche for police (January 31, 2017)
- Seattle Times: Deadly-force bill takes a key step forward in Olympia (February 16, 2017)
- Crosscut: Legislature may let police face shooting charges (February 17, 2017)
- Seattle Times: Bill on police use of deadly force stalls in Olympia (February 24, 2017)
- Crosscut: Deadly force bill blows key deadline (February 24, 2017)
- Everett Herald: Police deadly force bill dies in Senate committee (February 25, 2017)
- The Olympian: Editorial: Find middle ground on police use of deadly force (March 5, 2017)
- Seattle Times: Police shooting energizes efforts to change Washington’s deadly-force law (June 20, 2017)
- The Olympia: Editorial: Good reason to change police use of force law (June 27, 2017)