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.
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.