Related to our Part 3 story on the future of policing in Edmonds, here’s a list of new policing bills passed by the 2021 State Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Jay Inslee. Some laws take effect on July 1; others are phased in over the next two years. We have condensed some content of the laws to make them easier to read.
HB 1054 – Police Tactics – effective date July 25, 2021
- Prohibits the use of a chokehold or neck restraint in any circumstance.
- Prohibits no-knock warrants.
- States the Criminal Justice Training Commission will develop a statewide model policy for training/use of K-9 teams.
- Prohibits the use of tear gas except in three circumstances: harm posed by a riot, barricaded subject or hostage situation.
- States that prior to deploying tear gas, law enforcement officers must exhaust available and appropriate alternatives; obtain authorization from a supervising officer; announce the intent to use tear gas and allow sufficient time and space for the subject(s) to comply.
- Prohibits use or acquisition of military equipment; agencies must return or destroy any military equipment by Dec. 31, 2022.
- Requires uniformed officers are identifiable (for example, a name badge).
- Prohibits vehicle pursuits unless the officer has probable cause that a crime (violent or sex offense) has been/is being committed; there is a reasonable suspicion of DUI and other stipulations.
- Prohibits a law enforcement officer from firing a weapon at a moving vehicle.
HB 1310 – Use of Force – effective July 25, 2021
- Authorizes a law enforcement officer to use deadly force only when necessary to protect against an imminent threat of serious physical injury or deat
- Requires that an officer exhaust available and appropriate de-escalation tactics prior to using any physical force.
- When using physical force, an officer is required to use the least amount of physical force necessary.
- Requires police to terminate the use of physical force as soon as the necessity for it ends.
- By July 1, 2022, the State Attorney General must develop a model policy on law enforcement use of force and de-escalation tactics statewide.
- Requires basic training provided by the Criminal Justice Training Commission be consistent with the use-of-force requirements and limitations and the Attorney General’s model policy on use of force and de-escalation.
SB 5051 – Decertification of Officers – effective July 25, 2021
- Establishes criteria for mandatory statewide standards to de-certify police and corrections officers.
- The Criminal Justice Training Commission may conduct independent investigations into allegations of improper conduct.
- The Criminal Justice Training Commission may issue public recommendations regarding law enforcement agencies’ command decisions, inadequacy of policy or training, investigations or disciplinary decisions regarding misconduct, potential systemic violations of law or policy, unconstitutional policing, or other matters.
- Expands requirements on pre-hire background checks
- Requires law enforcement and corrections agencies to report to the Criminal Justice Training Commission within 15 days of death or serious injury caused by the use of force by an officer or any time an officer has been charged with a crime.
- Specifies that the Criminal Justice Training Commission shall have the sole authority to provide basic law enforcement training.
SB 5066 – Duty to Intervene – July 25, 2021
- Requires any identifiable law enforcement officer who witnesses another officer using or attempting to use excessive force to intervene to end and/or prevent the use of excessive force and report to their supervisor.
- Incorporates the duty to render first aid into the newly created duty to intervene.
- Prohibits law enforcement agencies from imposing discipline or retaliate in any way against an officer for intervening in good faith or reporting in good faith as required by the bill.
- Requires law enforcement agencies to send notice to the…