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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

News Release, Published: 
Friday, November 7, 2003
From the vantage point of almost two decades of observation, and countless meetings with local officials and their staff, the single most important overriding message I would like to leave with you is the following: "stop the giveaways." By this I mean, the City should stop giving away in the collective bargaining process the public’s ability to establish a stronger and more effective police accountability system.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, September 10, 2003
In a first-in-the-nation case, the Washington Supreme Court today unanimously ruled that police must obtain a warrant in order to track an individual's movements by Global Positioning Systems (GPS). The ruling agrees with the contentions of an amicus brief submitted in the case by the American Civil Liberties Union.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, October 28, 2002
In settlement of a lawsuit brought by the ACLU, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) has agreed to improve its policies for handling requests for documents by the public. The ACLU sued the SPD in 2001 for violating the state Public Disclosure Act by failing to disclose a key document relating to police enforcement of the City's "no protest zone" during the World Trade Organization demonstrations in 1999.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, June 24, 2002
Under pressure from civil libertarians, the Washington State Patrol has suspended searching randomly selected cars of people seeking to board state ferries. While the state patrol had claimed the searches were voluntary, motorists who did not consent to the arbitrary searches were prevented from boarding the boat.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 30, 2002
Recommendations to our City Leaders for Contract Negotiations with Seattle Police Officers Guild
News Release, Published: 
Monday, December 31, 2001
The ACLU is working with attorneys around the state to develop constitutional challenges to a new statute that unfairly punishes car owners for actions by others. An amendment to state law adopted in 1998 authorizes police to impound for 30 to 90 days vehicles driven by a person with a suspended license - even if the driver doesn't own the car.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, November 20, 2000
As we approach the anniversary of WTO and a new series of rallies, the City of Seattle needs to show that it has learned the right lessons from last year's demonstrations.
News Release, Published: 
Saturday, September 30, 2000
In September the Seattle City Council passed the first ordinance resulting from police failures during the WTO demonstrations. As recommended in the ACLU's report on WTO, the law requires all Seattle Police Department officers to wear legible identification on the outermost layer of their uniforms and to orally identify themselves when asked by citizens.
News Release, Published: 
Monday, July 31, 2000
Washington voters in 1998 passed Initiative 692 to allow patients with certain terminal or debilitating diseases to possess and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. After months of negotiations with the ACLU, the Seattle Police Department (SPD) in 2000 issued written instructions for enforcing the Washington Medical Marijuana Act.

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