Resolution in Support of De-Escalate Washington
Adopted by the Board of Trustees
King County Bar Association
June 20, 2018
WHEREAS, Washington State’s current laws on police use of force are inadequate and in need of change to reflect the needs of the people of Washington State.
WHEREAS, Washington State is the only state in the union in which prosecutors must prove a police officer acted with “malice” before a court can find use of force to have been unlawful.
WHEREAS, Initiative I-940 would address shortcomings in these laws, provide for better training of our police officers, and enhance the State’s ability to prosecute for unjustified use of force.
WHEREAS, Initiative I-940, which contemplates training and education for police officers including, but not limited to, mental health training, conflict resolution, and violence de-escalation, passed the state legislature and was signed by the Governor.
WHEREAS, the legislature also passed compromise legislation (HB 3003) which would amend I-940, in a process recently deemed unconstitutional by the Thurston County Superior Court.
WHEREAS, the Court has ordered the Secretary of State to place I-940 on the ballot in November, but not HB 3003.
WHEREAS, the State has appealed the Thurston County Superior Court’s decision.
WHEREAS, the King County Bar Association takes no position on the constitutionality of the the legislative process surrounding HB 3003.
WHEREAS, the King County Bar Association supports Initiative I-940 as originally written, and the compromise legislation passed by the State legislature, and supports efforts by the state legislature and initiative proponents in implementing the proposed changes whether they are implemented via legislation or by the initiative process.
RESOLVED, that the King County Bar Association urges the voters of Washington State to support I-940 as submitted to the legislature if it appears on the ballot by itself. If I-940 and HB3003 appear together on the ballot, the Association urges voters to adopt HB3003.