Community organizers in the state of Washington have launched a campaign to put a referendum on the ballot in 2018 that would revise state law and lower the current high bar regarding criminal prosecution of police officers for shooting and killing people. Current law requires that prosecutors prove that the officer had, in effect. “evil intent.”
The referendum also includes provisions mandating training for all officers in the state related to dealing with persons having mental health problems, and also on de-escalation. Sam Walker commented that putting these issues into state law will guarantee that all law enforcement agencies in the state will be covered by the requirements. One of the problems in the U.S., he explained, is that we have 18,000 law enforcement agencies (15,000 police; 3,000 sheriffs), without any process for guaranteeing that important reforms reach all of them.
Read the story in Vice News: WashStateReferendumJuly17