The Seattle Community Police Commission urges the Washington State Senate to pass HB 1054 – legislation which is critical to protecting the life and liberty of Washingtonians.
For years, the CPC has advocated for many of the reforms encompassed in this legislation, because we have seen firsthand the harm these outdated and dangerous weapons and practices have caused community.
- We know the harms the lack of regulation of tear gas has caused community because we watched thousands of protesters expressing their First Amendment rights be indiscriminately tear gassed this summer during Black Lives Matter protests.
- We know the dangers posed by current police dog policies because we watched as a teenager with his hands in the air was bitten by a police dog without any accountability for the officers who allowed it.
- We have fought to ensure chokeholds are banned for years because we saw the dangerous ways they were being used in Seattle well before this past year.
This legislation is needed to prevent real harm. These and the other accountability provisions detailed in this bill are critical to protecting our communities – particularly our black and brown communities who are disproportionately impacted by policing. This bill will save lives, and the Community Police Commission strongly urges you to support it.
Background on this legislation
This legislation has passed the House and is being heard today in the Senate Law and Justice Committee for the first time. Among other things it:
- Prohibits peace officers from using chokeholds and neck restraints.
- Prohibits law enforcement agencies from acquiring or using certain types of military equipment.
- Establishes restrictions on the use of tear gas, vehicular pursuits, and firing upon moving vehicles.
- Prohibits a peace officer from seeking, and a court from issuing, a search or arrest warrant granting an express exception to the “knock and announce” rule.
- Requires law enforcement agencies to adopt policies and procedures to ensure that uniformed peace officers are reasonably identifiable.
- Requires the Criminal Justice Training Commission to convene a work group for the purpose of developing model policies on the use and training of canine teams.