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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.


Friday, June 20, 2014
Have you wondered where Seattle’s police drones are? How about … Los Angeles? In an aptly named article “Game of Drones” in the LA Weekly, Seattle journalist Rick Anderson chronicles how the Los Angeles Police Department acquired the two 3.5 Draganflyer X6 drones as a gift from the Seattle Police Department.
Thursday, June 19, 2014
When people hear that their police department is considering equipping officers with body cameras, their initial reaction is likely to be “Good!”  Many instances of police misconduct have come to light over the years because someone recorded the incident with a mobile camera. So having a camera attached to each officer seems like a great way to ensure accountability.
Monday, May 12, 2014
Transforming an institution’s practices and culture takes endurance, dedication, and tenacity.  Doubly so when attempting to transform a police department - an institution modeled on the military - into one that understands its roles as “servants of the Constitution” and “guardians of the community,” as Sue Rahr describes it.
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
A man whom Sunnyside police arrested for videotaping a SWAT team has received an $8,000 settlement, reports the Yakima Herald-Republic. After the man posted a videotape of his arrest on YouTube, police requested the charges be dropped and the man sued for the violation of his rights.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Last week we told you about the new federal data that highlights the problem of students of color and those with disabilities being systematically denied access to education by being suspended and expelled at rates 3 to 2 times higher respectively than there peers.
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
The ACLU has long been concerned about the use of facial recognition systems and the broad fishing expeditions for which they can be used.  That’s why the ACLU of Washington worked hard to change the Seattle Police Department’s proposed policy for the Booking Photo Comparison Software (BPCS).
Friday, October 18, 2013
Last year, after pressure from the ACLU and a number of community groups, the City of Seattle and the Department of Justice entered into a settlement agreement relating to police practices. It avoided a lengthy court battle over DOJ’s allegations that the Seattle Police Department had a pattern or practice of the excess use of force.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
Police departments across the state have adopted or are looking to buy on-officer recording systems, or “body cameras,” to provide oversight for law enforcement. These cameras can be very beneficial for accountability to prevent or identify police misconduct. But, they also pose risks to privacy for those captured in the recordings.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
The ACLU of Washington and ACLU affiliates in 23 other states today simultaneously filed public records requests to determine the extent to which local police departments are using federally subsidized military technology and tactics that are traditionally used overseas.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, January 9, 2013
January 23 - Update:  The jury today reached a verdict and ruled in favor of the City of Tacoma.  No decision has been made yet as to whether to appeal the case. Suit Says Police Actions Aimed to Prevent Peaceful Protest The ACLU-WA is representing six citizens who are suing over violations of their rights to free speech and assembly by police at anti-war demonstrations at the Port of Tacoma. A jury trial in the case began in federal district court in Tacoma on January 7.