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Washington Voters Back Changes to Deadly Force Standards

November 07, 2018  | 

Law enforcement officers in Washington will face different standards for incidents involving deadly force now that Initiative 940 has reportedly passed with 60% of the vote statewide. In King County, support exceeded 70%, reports the Seattle Times.

Passage of the measure means that prosecutors will no longer have to prove law enforcement officers acted with "evil intent" — or so-called "malice" — when considering whether to file criminal charges such as manslaughter. Washington is the only state with such restrictive language.

I-940 also requires de-escalation and mental-health training for police; requires officers to administer first aid to a victim of deadly force; and requires independent investigations into the use of deadly force.


Comments (11)

Displaying 1 - 11 of 11

Hiram Jones @ 11/7/2018 4:37 PM

Easy to be Monday morning quarterback, if you've never faced reality or even a computerized shoot/don't shoot training simulator. Some real life situations ... which happen in seconds ... are 'damned if you do shoot; dead if you don't.'

Jon Retired LEO @ 11/7/2018 4:40 PM

I know that it is hard to pull up stakes and move but with these changes in an already liberal run state I would sure consider a change of venue for employment.

Westcoastleo @ 11/7/2018 4:43 PM

Every officer in that state should strike, walk off the job, and let it be known that they will not roll to any call where anything could harm them.

SgtD @ 11/7/2018 5:41 PM

The sheep always run from the sheepdog, but the Shepherd watches over the flock and occasionally will show them why we are in place for protection. This too will pass;stand fast, our Washington family. We will always stand with you.

Badge9152 @ 11/7/2018 6:03 PM

The unfortunate thing, is that only bad guys win. Officers will second guess themselves now instead of reacting instinctively based on training and experience, meaning Officer Safety is at high risk. Or there's going to be a drastic work productivity decrease as Officers become apprehensive about getting involved in things that put them at risk of being targeted by politically motivated prosecutors and "special panels". The community that voted for this doesn't win. Any Officer that isn't over the hump towards retirement needs to seriously consider moving and picking up their career in another state...

Badge411 @ 11/7/2018 6:18 PM

The unfortunate thing is that only the bad guys win. This is an Officer Safety issue, as now Officers will second guess themselves instead of reacting instinctively based on their training and experience. Or, there will be a drastic reduction in work productivity as Officers are going to be apprehensive about getting involved at risk of being targeted by a politically motivated prosecutor or "special panel".

Tom ret @ 11/7/2018 7:10 PM

Thank God I'm retired. It is not worth being a cop in Washington state in my view. You can ether do nothing and be accused of incompetence in lethal situations or possibly face charges if some beam counter thinks you didn't de-escalate enough. The public may be lowering the bar for police prosecutions but the cops will undoubtedly raise the bar on what they want to stick their neck out for. What will result is a whole lot less proactive policing which has already happened in Chicago and other cities, This doesn't even take into account where they are going to find people who want to be cops or keeping the good ones from leaving or retiring. It won't be long before these same politicians and people who voted for this will be complaining that the cops aren't do anything.

Popo @ 11/7/2018 10:26 PM

This is the result of liberals and democrats at work. Everyone seems to say that the old ways of policing and thinking are RACIST and unfair to these THUGS and their community that protects them with all this race baiting and false accusations. Police do what they always have done.....do their poorly paid jobs for the protection and betterment of their areas they patrol. Law enforcement is a calling and all who think they are worthy should pursue these careers, despite the clowns and their false beliefs. The democrats are just trying to lay shame on this great and respectful career.

EODK9Trainer @ 11/8/2018 7:35 AM

Washington LEO's. As mentioned. Please pack up and leave. Head to the east coast as we are always looking for experienced officers in the growing counties. Come to Virginia especially.

Grey Bear @ 11/8/2018 9:12 AM

Another profoundly sad day for America. As the new Socialist Democrats turn our country over to the criminals, this is but one more step in handcuffing the very people who stand between the average citizen and chaos. As another poster said, I am so glad that I made it to retirement in good enough health to enjoy it, but it truly saddens me to see what this next generation will have to fight through. To my brothers and sisters in Washington, sadly, the tide of cluelessness has enveloped you; protect yourselves, and stand down or go elsewhere.

bo2234 @ 11/8/2018 1:59 PM

We have over 200 years of laws on the books, case law and Supreme Court decisions that delineate what a justifiable use of force is. The first time an officer is charged in Washington state under these new "laws", the appeals will go up the ladder until the whole thing is quashed.

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