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Police Practices

ACLU Calls for Changing State Law on Prosecuting Police for Killings

The prosecutor has decided not to file charges against Pasco police officers who killed a man throwing rocks. The decision shows a clear need to amend our state law on use of deadly force by law enforcement, so that police can better be held accountable. Read More »
Free Speech

State Supreme Court Upholds Free Speech Right to Criticize Police

Agreeing with an ACLU of Washington amicus brief, the Washington Supreme Court has reaffirmed that individuals have the right to criticize how police are handling a situation and that such criticism cannot be the basis of a criminal conviction for obstruction.   Read More »
Criminal Justice

ACLU of Washington Statement on Kennewick Police Incident

Apr 9, 2015
"Kennewick Police Officer Glenn Ball demonstrated the kind of behavior that no police chief should tolerate in his officers. The ACLU appreciates Chief Ken Hohenberg’s firm rebuke of the officer for his actions during the stop of Omar Abarca." Read More »
Body camera on police officer

Liberty Link: ACLU-WA Urges Spokane to Strengthen Police Body Camera Policies

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. Read More »
Seattle Police badge

Ensuring the Community Has a Voice in Police Reform

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. Read More »

State v. KLB

The ACLU of Washington filed a friend-of-the-court brief arguing that a juvenile conviction for making false statements to a public servant violated the First Amendment when the statements were immaterial and the private security officer, whose employer contracted with Sound Transit for security services, was not a public servant under the letter and spirit of the law. Read More »
Bust card

Bust Cards: Educating about Rights While We Work for Police Reform

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. Read More »
Police officer getting aggressive with protester

Balancing Police Oversight and Privacy: ACLU Offers Recommendations for Body Cams

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. Read More »