Washington state is no stranger to calls for police reforms.
It’s what was behind the years-long effort that culminated in 2019 with voters overwhelmingly approving I-940, Washington’s new police accountability law that, among other things, required more training for officers and fully independent investigations in use of force cases.
When it was passed, it was largely hailed a victory for families of those killed by police. But when the law took effect, it was clear something was missing: Someone to ensure police agencies were actually following the new rules. As it turns out some were not, such as the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department which, despite having had a deputy at the scene of the Tacoma Police Department’s in custody killing of Manny Ellis last year, still took on the “independent investigation” – which is not allowed under I-940.
Ellis’ death, and the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others this past year sparked a national outcry, sustained protests, and fresh demands for police reforms, transparency, and accountability.
Here is Washington, many of those calls appear close to being answered, with state lawmakers poised to send a series of bills to the governor in a year that saw police accountability elevated to a top priority in Olympia.
In the past week, action have been taken on a series of these proposals, including Democratic Rep. Jesse Johnson’s HB 1054 limiting police tactics.
Aimed at preventing things like the deaths of Floyd and Taylor, the bill bans chokeholds and neck restraints, as well as no knock warrants.

Original Article