Washington Governor Signs Sweeping Police Reform Measures
September 23, 2021
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday signed one of the nation’s most ambitious packages of police accountability legislation, prompted by last year’s outcry for racial justice following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and other Black people at the hands of police.
The dozen bills Inslee signed include outright bans on police use of chokeholds, neck restraints and no-knock warrants such as the one that helped lead to Taylor's killing in Louisville, Kentucky.
They require officers to intervene if their colleagues engage in excessive force — a demand inspired by the officers who stood by while Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin pressed a knee to Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes.
The bills also create an independent office to review the use of deadly force by police, make it easier to decertify police for bad acts, and require officers to use “reasonable care,” including exhausting de-escalation tactics, in carrying out their duties. The use of tear gas and car chases are restricted and it's easier to sue officers when they inflict injury.