By now, we all know the issues surrounding police and their use of force. It has been a hot topic for many, many months. Today, a SB 5066 is before the Washington State Legislature (“WSL”). If enacted, SB 5066 would compel fellow officers to step-in and intervene if they witness excessive force being used by another law enforcement agent. In short, the bill would prohibit officers from ‘looking the other way’ when they see ‘bad behavior’ from their colleagues. If an officer fails to do so, she risks possible suspension or even decertification. SB 5066 is, of course, part of a broader push for police reform and accountability.
Over the course of the past several weeks, the WSL has considered several bills related to law enforcement reform. Later this week, members of the WSL will consider and vote on HB 1310, which seeks to narrow the set of circumstances for the use of physical and deadly force by police. Also on Thursday, HB 1267 will be considered and voted on. HB1267, if enacted, would establish an office within the Office of the Governor to investigate potential criminal uses of deadly force by police, in-custody deaths of detainees, and police related sexual assaults.
The point of all of these bills is to hold officers to a high(er) ethical standard, and make them more accountable for both their actions and their inactions. As some would say, prohibit officers from ‘hiding behind their badge.’ No doubt that the vast majority of officers already meet these standards, but as with every industry or profession, there are always ‘bad apple’ or two in the proverbial bushel.
If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge (whether it be in Seattle or elsewhere), don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.