Washington lawmakers are poised to roll back hard-won police reform.
Right now three bills threaten undo the police accountability and public safety policy passed in the summer of 2021. Here’s what you need to know about each one, and how we can work to stop them.
House Bill 1788 would expand the use of dangerous vehicle pursuits.
House Bill 1788 would expand the use of dangerous police vehicle pursuits by allowing officers to pursue suspects based on reasonable suspicion (instead of probable cause). HB 1788 provides fewer restrictions around when and how vehicle chases are conducted, increasing the circumstances under which they may be used, and making them more likely.
Vehicle pursuits endanger everyone: suspects, bystanders, and police officers. Their use should not be expanded.
We must ask our State Representatives to VOTE NO on HB 1788.
House Bill 2037 guts new use-of-force standards.
HB 2037 would undo the sensible, equitable, and effective use of force standards set last year by HB 1310.
If passed, HB 2037 would expand an officers authority to use force if someone is fleeing. People often flee low-level police encounters out of fear that they will be harmed, not because theyve committed a crime. HB 2037 would greenlight an increase of needless violence and give officers more authority to use force.
Here’s a helpful graphic that explains the changes.
We must ask our State Representatives to VOTE NO on HB 2037.
Senate Bill 5919 is the worst of both worlds.
SB 5919 was developed in response to robust community opposition to roll back bills proposed in the State House. It takes the worst parts of House Bills 1788 and 2037 and combines them into a single Senate Bill that would gut use-of-force reforms and increase the use of dangerous vehicle pursuits.
SB 5919 has been approved by the State Senate. We MUST defeat SB 5919 to ensure these rollbacks do not take effect.
We must ask our State Representatives to VOTE NO on SB 5919.
Clog their inboxes & their voicemails.
If you have the energy, please take a moment to personalize each editable email with the reason you personally oppose HB 1788, HB 2037, and SB 5915.
You can also reach your lawmakers at the Legislative Hotline: 1-800-562-6000.
Not sure what to say? Try something like this:
My name is [name], and I am your constituent in [where you live].
I am calling to ask you to oppose [HB 2037 and HB 1788, OR SB 5919].
This bill would rollback amazing police accountability and public safety progress which led to a 60% decrease in killings by police, making Washington the #1 state in reduction of police killings last year.
[Insert personal reason why this matters to you.]
Will you commit to voting against [HB 2037 and HB 1788, OR SB 5919]?
Thank you for your time.
We cannot go back.
In 2020after the murders of Breonna Taylor, Manuel Ellis, and George Floyd communities throughout Washington marched in the streets to demand an end to police violence.
Discriminatory and violent policing, particularly against communities of color, was the central issue that ultimately led to the drafting and passage of over a dozen new police accountability laws in 2021. Washingtons police reform bills were crafted with the input of families whove been impacted by police violence, who know firsthand the trauma that occurs when police kill a loved one. By rolling back advances, the Legislature would break a commitment made to those families, their loved ones, and our communities as a whole.
HB 1788, HB 2037, and SB 5919 are a step backward: Washington has seen a reduction in police violence since the enaction of new policing laws in the summer of 2021, including a 60% drop in people killed by police officers.
Washington leads the nation in reducing deaths caused by police officers. This is incredible progress that we should be proud of and build upon, not erode with legislation that doesn’t reflect the will of the people.
The Legislature must keep its commitment to Washington communities and reject House Bill 1788 and 2037, and Senate Bill 5919 and any bill that expands the use of force. If thousands of us call and email our Representatives and State Senators, they cant ignore us.
Together, we can build a more just and nonviolent public safety vision, and world.