Legislature approves duty to intervene police reform bill
The Washington Legislature on Tuesday approved a measure requiring police to intervene if they see a fellow officer using, or attempting to use, excessive force.
On a 31-18 vote, the Senate concurred with changes the made in the House to the bill, which was prompted by the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and ensuing Black Lives Matter protests last year. The measure now heads to Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee for his signature.
Under the bill, officers would have to intervene to stop excessive force if they see it being used, or attempted to be used, by another officer and they’re in a position to do so. It would also require police to report wrongdoing by another officer to that officer’s supervisor, including criminal acts or violations of professional standards, and it would forbid retaliation against police who intervene or report wrongdoing.
Former Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin was convicted Tuesday of murder and manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Three other fired Minneapolis police officers are facing trial in August on charges of aiding and abetting murder in Floyd’s death.
The bill requires law enforcement agencies to adopt written policies on the duty to intervene and ensure that all law enforcement officers obtain training.
The measure is one of several police reform bills that the Legislature has been moving during this year’s 105-day legislative session, which is scheduled to end Sunday.