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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

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.
Published: 
Wednesday, January 2, 2013
Seattle can become a national leader in establishing tight regulations for police drones. City leaders should seize the opportunity without delay.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
A federal judge issued an order denying the government’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit targeting unlawful U.S. Border Patrol actions in the Olympic Peninsula. The lawsuit seeks to end the Border Patrol’s practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants without legal justification.
Published: 
Monday, August 27, 2012
Washington state’s war on marijuana has cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars over the last decade. Every one of Washington’s 39 counties has spent millions of dollars enforcing these laws.
Published: 
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
The Dept. of Justice and the City of Seattle have agreed on a proposed consent decree with a  court-appointed monitor to improve policing in Seattle. The agreement is an historic opportunity for Seattle to ensure all residents receive equal and fair treatment by its police force.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, May 10, 2012
To ensure that reforms to the Seattle Police Department are fully implemented and long-lasting, the City needs speedily to agree to a consent decree with the Department of Justice that includes a monitor and court oversight. It's clear that the problems within the police department have been so ingrained that our city can't fix them without outside help.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Represented by the ACLU-WA and the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, three residents of the Olympic Peninsula have filed a class-action lawsuit challenging the U.S. Border Patrol's practice of stopping vehicles and interrogating occupants without legal justification. People are being stopped based solely on their appearance and ethnicity. This is unlawful and contrary to American values.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 26, 2012
Since 2008, our community members have been going through difficult times due to the racial profiling by Border Patrol agents in our area. We acknowledge the importance of this agency and their job of protecting our borders. We also recognize that some agents have gone beyond their boundaries, showing a lack of professionalism and unethical behavior.
Published: 
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
If there truly is reason to believe there is evidence of a crime in a vehicle, it is easy enough for the officer to secure the vehicle and obtain a warrant. It’s only in cases where a warrant would be difficult to obtain — cases where there is nothing more than a hunch at play — that this exception comes into play.

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