The Seattle Community Police Commission strongly supports House Bill 1310.
Too often we have seen the damaging, and sometimes fatal, consequences when officers are not properly trained and equipped to use de-escalation techniques. We have even seen situations become dire immediately when Officers respond to situations without even the intent to de-escalate. Just one month ago, Seattle police officers shot a man in mental health crisis within 30 seconds of arriving on scene. This cannot, and must not, continue to happen. That is why the Seattle Community Police Commission strongly supports HB 1310.
Police officers are given unparalleled authority in our society to deprive people of life and liberty. With that power must come equal accountability. This bill is a step towards that accountability. By requiring officers to embrace de-escalation, empowering them only to use the minimal degree of physical force necessary, and ensuring that deadly force is the absolute last resort will literally save lives.
Unfortunately, we have seen what happens when we do not have these safeguards. Inaction on this bill puts our communities at risk – particularly our BIPOC communities who are disproportionately impacted by police violence. We urge you to stand with those communities today in supporting HB 1310.