I-940 petitions
Petitions for I-940, awaiting submission (Photo: De-Escalate Washington)

Leg­is­la­tion to pol­ish and per­fect De-Esca­late Wash­ing­ton’s Ini­tia­tive 940 received a resound­ing stamp of approval today in the Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives. By a vote of nine­ty-eight to zero (yes, real­ly), rep­re­sen­ta­tives vot­ed to send SHB 1064 to the State Sen­ate for its consideration.

Prime spon­sored by State Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Roger Good­man, this bill cleans up pro­vi­sions in I‑940 “relat­ing to train­ing, the crim­i­nal lia­bil­i­ty stan­dard for use of dead­ly force, inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tions of dead­ly force inci­dents, and ren­der­ing of first aid.” A sim­i­lar bill was passed last year dur­ing the short ses­sion, but the Supreme Court inval­i­dat­ed it after Tim Eyman filed a legal chal­lenge.

We don’t often see unan­i­mous roll calls on major bills, but today, we did. This is cer­tain­ly evi­dence that bipar­ti­san­ship is alive and well in our statehouse.

Roll Call
SHB 1064
Law enforcement
Final Passage

Yeas: 98 (none opposed, none absent, none excused)

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Apple­ton, Barkis, Bergquist, Blake, Boehnke, Caldier, Callan, Cham­bers, Chan­dler, Chap­man, Cody, Cor­ry, Davis, DeBolt, Dent, Doglio, Dolan, Dufault, Dye, Enten­man, Eslick, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Frame, Gildon, Goehn­er, Good­man, Gra­ham, Gregerson, Grif­fey, Hansen, Har­ris, Hoff, Hud­gins, Irwin, Jenkin, Jink­ins, Kil­duff, Kir­by, Klip­pert, Klo­ba, Kraft, Kretz, Leav­itt, Lekanoff, Lovick, MacEwen, Macri, May­cum­ber, McCaslin, Mead, Mor­gan, Mor­ris, Mos­bruck­er, Orcutt, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Paul, Pel­lic­ciot­ti, Peter­son, Pet­ti­grew, Pol­let, Ramos, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Robin­son, Rude, Ryu, San­tos, Schmick, Sells, Senn, Shea, Shew­make, Slat­ter, Smith, Springer, Stan­ford, Steele, Stokes­bary, Stonier, Sul­li­van, Suther­land, Tar­leton, Thai, Tharinger, Valdez, Van Wer­ven, Vick, Volz, Walen, Walsh, Wilcox, Wylie, Ybar­ra, Young, Chopp

Even Repub­li­can hard­lin­ers like Matt Shea vot­ed aye, which is impressive.

“The ini­tia­tive [I‑940] is a great step for­ward in repair­ing the trust between the pub­lic and law enforce­ment,” said Good­man. “How­ev­er, the ini­tia­tive paint­ed the solu­tion in broad strokes and there are pro­vi­sions that need to be more explic­it­ly defined. The con­sen­sus lan­guage clar­i­fies those, while also strength­en­ing train­ing, first aid, and inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tion require­ments in the law.”

“Trust between law enforce­ment and the com­mu­ni­ties they serve is essen­tial for pub­lic safe­ty,” Good­man added in his state­ment fol­low­ing pas­sage. “These mea­sures will begin to build that bridge, pro­vide bet­ter tools for law enforce­ment to car­ry out their dif­fi­cult jobs, and make it pos­si­ble for vic­tims to get justice.”

Togeth­er, I‑940 and Good­man’s SHB 1064 accom­plish the fol­low­ing, accord­ing to a sum­ma­ry pre­pared by the House Demo­c­ra­t­ic caucus:

  • Require annu­al train­ing for law enforce­ment, includ­ing train­ing on implic­it bias, de-esca­la­tion tac­tics, men­tal health, and less lethal alternatives;
  • Estab­lish that law enforce­ment offi­cers have a solemn duty to pre­serve life, includ­ing pro­vid­ing or sum­mon­ing first aid at the ear­li­est safe opportunity;
  • Insti­tute process­es for inde­pen­dent inves­ti­ga­tions of dead­ly force incidents;
  • Estab­lish stan­dards for fam­i­ly and com­mu­ni­ty noti­fi­ca­tion, includ­ing a require­ment to noti­fy tribes if an officer’s use of force results in the death of a trib­al mem­ber; and
  • Remove the require­ment that police “mal­ice” be proven in order to bring crim­i­nal charges and replace it with an objec­tive “good faith” or rea­son­able police offi­cer stan­dard by which pros­e­cu­tors can more fair­ly eval­u­ate dead­ly force incidents.

SHB 1064 enjoyed the sup­port of both the De-Esca­late Wash­ing­ton coali­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of orga­ni­za­tions that rep­re­sent law enforce­ment. Assum­ing the Sen­ate signs off, it will soon be before Gov­er­nor Inslee for his signature.

About the author

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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