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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 regulating 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
Victory:  Spokane Police will no longer unlawfully detain immigrants
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: 
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Arizona's new law creates a mini-police state where people can be asked to show their papers to law enforcement simply because they look or sound "foreign." We must reject any efforts to enact such measures in Washington and make sure that what happens in Arizona stops in Arizona.
Published: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
We’re deeply disturbed by a video showing Seattle Police Officers kicking and yelling racial slurs at an individual of color who appeared to be offering no resistance. We recognize that the video is the subject of ongoing investigations, and it is, of course, important to protect the due process rights of the officers involved. But let’s be perfectly clear—using racial slurs or threatening to harm someone because of his race or ethnicity is never acceptable under any circumstances. Police officers have great power to be the enforcement mechanism of our laws. But let’s not forget—it is we as citizens and residents who delegate that power to them. Which is why it is extremely disturbing to see that power being abused by those in whom so much trust is placed.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
City leaders must make clear that police use of racial epithets is unacceptable, period. In addition, officials investigating the incident should examine the role of other officers on the scene and the need for de-escalation training for police.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, April 5, 2010
Seattle Mayor McGinn has promised to veto the unnecessary and divisive new panhandling law that passed by 5-4 margin. Kudos to the Mayor and Council members Harrell, Licata, O'Brien, and Rasmussen for courageously opposing it. You can help by letting them know you appreciate their stand.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
The response of the Seattle Police Department (SPD) to anti-war demonstrations on March 22, 2003, provides one more reminder of the City's need to have in place sensible crowd control policies for major events.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Letter from Kathleen Taylor re: An effort by some police officials to repeal or significantly modify Seattle’s Police Intelligence Ordinance.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
The April 18, 2006 testimony of the ACLU legal program director before the Public Safety, Governmental Relations and Arts Committee of the Seattle City Council.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
An American Civil Liberties Union of Washington report calling for the creation of an independent office for police accountability in Seattle.
News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 20, 2009
The recent settlement of a case in which a police chase resulted in an innocent motorist’s death and an injury to his passenger again points to the need for a statewide law governing high-speed police chases.

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