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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
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Resources

Published: 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
By the end of the summer, the Spokane Police Department (SPD) will begin using officer-worn cameras as part of a pilot program. While the ACLU-WA has supported the use of body cameras for accountability purposes, we recently expressed concern that the SPD’s draft policies do not adequately protect individual privacy or ensure effective oversight.
Published: 
Monday, July 7, 2014
Established to provide a community voice in the police reform process, Seattle’s Community Police Commission (CPC) is a unique body for an American city.  It consists of 15 members, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council, drawn from a large variety of backgrounds and with expertise pertaining to just policing.
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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).
Published: 
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.
Published: 
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.

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