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Washington governor signs 12 Bills to Improve Law Enforcement Accountability

Washington: Washington Governor Jay Inslee has singed 12 bills that are expected to heighten law enforcement accountability, including legislation to prohibit use of force and create an Office of Independent Investigations reporting to the head of the state, the governor’s office said.

“Gov. Jay Inslee signed a dozen bills today that will improve accountability for law enforcement in Washington state, and will create the nation’s strongest police accountability system,” the office said in a release on Tuesday. “The governor signed legislation that will create an Office of Independent Investigations that reports to the governor, prohibit certain uses of force and will require more thorough oversight requirements for hiring and for reporting misconduct.”

One of the bills signed is supposed to increase transparency and accountability of the law enforcement by changing certification and background requirements for police officers as well as more thorough internal reviews in case of a misconduct by an officer, and also by making the results of internal investigations publicly available, the release said.

Another bill prohibits a number of use-of-force tactics by law enforcement officers, including chokeholds and neck restraints, restricts vehicular pursuits, and limits the use of tear gas, the release added.

The governor linked the creation of a new police accountability system in the state with the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota and the killing of Manny Ellis in Tacoma.

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