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Policing

Law enforcement must protect both public safety and the rights of individuals. This is why arrests and use of force should be last resorts, not first options, for police. The ACLU-WA advocates for stronger laws involving police use of force, alternatives to arrest and incarceration, and de-escalation practices and  training. And to ensure law enforcement is accountable to the people they serve, the ACLU-WA works for greater community oversight, such as independent civilian review boards with disciplinary authority.
Change state law on prosecuting police for killings
Confronting Race and Policing
Demand justice: There must be a just response to the killing of Charleena Lyles
Know your rights:  Download our guide on what to do if you're stopped by the police

Resources

Published: 
Thursday, September 10, 2015
The prosecutor has decided not to file charges against Pasco police officers who killed a man throwing rocks. The decision shows a clear need to amend our state law on use of deadly force by law enforcement, so that police can better be held accountable.
Published: 
Monday, June 29, 2015
Agreeing with an ACLU of Washington amicus brief, the Washington Supreme Court has reaffirmed that individuals have the right to criticize how police are handling a situation and that such criticism cannot be the basis of a criminal conviction for obstruction.  
News Release, Published: 
Monday, May 11, 2015
Governor Inslee today signed into law a bill restricting the use of cell site simulator devices (popularly known as “Stingrays”). The measure (HB 1440) requires that a judge find there is probable cause that use of a Stingray will lead to evidence of criminal activity, and it includes judicial education and data retention provisions that are the first of their kind in the nation.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 9, 2015
"Kennewick Police Officer Glenn Ball demonstrated the kind of behavior that no police chief should tolerate in his officers. The ACLU appreciates Chief Ken Hohenberg’s firm rebuke of the officer for his actions during the stop of Omar Abarca."
News Release, Published: 
Friday, February 13, 2015
The ACLU-WA is deeply concerned about this very disturbing incident.  Fleeing from police and not following an officer’s command should not be sufficient for a person to get shot.  Lethal force should be used only as an absolute last resort. 
Published: 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Recent public outcry for police accountability and reform has been sparked by an epidemic of police violence targeted disproportionately at people of color. Advocacy groups, the public, and the president alike have touted body worn cameras as a potential cure for police misconduct.  If officers wear cameras, runs the thinking, we would have a clear visual record of what actually happened and who was at fault in disputed encounters with civilians.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The ACLU of Washington today released a letter sent to Burien officials urging the repeal of a recently adopted law targeting the homeless. In the attached letter, the ACLU explains the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and overly broad, and invites arbitrary enforcement.

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