Kelly Weatherby-Pennisi 0

Indivisible WA for Police Accountability

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Under current state law, it is incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to hold law enforcement officers accountable in Washington. State law requires prosecutors to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that officers used deadly force "with malice." Several community organizations have urged legislators to remove that key phrase -- "with malice" -- from the law.

We need to put pressure on our state legislators and demand the language of the law be changed. David Frockt, state senator from the 46th district, said in November that he plans to draft a bill to do this. Unfortunately, this bill died before it had the opportunity for a vote. Charleena Lyles, Jackie Salyers, and others who have lost their lives to police violence deserved to live. Now they deserve justice.

But simply changing the language will not be enough to save lives. Police need and deserve the thorough training that will allow them to do their jobs safely while also ensuring the safety of those living in the communities they are sworn to serve and protect. Indivisible Washington demands that state funds be dedicated to de-escalation training as well as anti-bias training so that police officers can be rigorously trained in these critical skills on an ongoing basis.

We, the undersigned, support the legislative changes and funding allocations described above, and we encourage everyone living in Washington to contact their state legislators to insist upon these changes.

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