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Washington Lawmaker Predicts Police Deadly Force Law Will Change This Year

File photo.  A legislative task force will review the use of deadly force by police in Washington state.
Tony Webster
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Wikimedia - tinyurl.com/zbpzuqr
File photo. A legislative task force will review the use of deadly force by police in Washington state.

Washington prosecutors say state law makes it nearly impossible to criminally charge a police officer who uses deadly force. Now a key state lawmaker predicts that law will change this year.

Currently, Washington law protects police officers who act in good faith and without malice. A proposal to remove malice and redefine “good faith” has passed the Senate Law and Justice Committee.

House Public Safety Committee Chair Roger Goodman supports that change. But the Democrat said no change will happen without the backing of both frontline police officers and communities disproportionately affected by policing.

“This is not going to be jammed down the throats of either side,” Goodman said. “This is really going to be a continuing consensus building process and we are getting closer and I’m confident that we’re going to get this done this year.

Goodman also said any final deal will have to include new money to train officers and help police departments better connect with citizens.

Copyright 2017 Northwest News Network

Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy as well as the Washington State legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia." Prior to joining the Northwest News Network, Austin worked as a television reporter in Seattle, Portland and Boise. Austin is a graduate of Garfield High School in Seattle and Connecticut College in New London, Connecticut. Austin’s reporting has been recognized with awards from the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors, Public Radio News Directors Incorporated and the Society of Professional Journalists.
Austin Jenkins
Since January 2004, Austin Jenkins has been the Olympia-based political reporter for the Northwest News Network. In that position, Austin covers Northwest politics and public policy, as well as the Washington State Legislature. You can also see Austin on television as host of TVW's (the C–SPAN of Washington State) Emmy-nominated public affairs program "Inside Olympia."
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