Last week, we learned that the King County Prosecutor decided not to criminally charge former Seattle police officer Ian Birk with the murder of John T. Williams. Last month, the Spokane County Prosecutor declined to bring criminal charges against Deputy Brian Hirzel for the murder of Pastor Wayne Creach. Over the past year, we have seen an increase in police-involved deaths in places such as Tacoma, Federal Way, and Gold Bar. All officers would benefit from improved training to learn how to reduce these deadly interactions.
Most police officers are caring and dedicated, and many officer-involved deaths are avoidable when officers have been adequately prepared. Officers need to be taught that just because they can use force doesn’t mean that they should use force. Appropriate police training protects civilians and officers by providing alternatives to violent confrontation.
You can help us prevent needless deaths in the future. Sign a petition asking the Criminal Justice Training Commission to revamp police training to ensure these public servants become the peace officers that we deserve.