Washingtonians who are victims of police violence face too many barriers to holding officers and departments accountable. Washington communities witness this as evidence of bias in favor of police and against civilians, and trust erodes as a result. The Peace Officer Accountability Act could change this dynamic and begin building trust that law enforcement will be carried out in their communities responsibly and fairly. The bill would remove barriers for victims and their families to sue, like qualified immunity, and hold officers and departments civilly liable for misconduct. It would also authorize the Attorney General’s office to investigate and bring lawsuits against departments where there are patterns of wrongdoing. Removing barriers to civil lawsuits would incentivize departments to improve training and supervision and deter individual officers from engaging in police misconduct. As interactions between police and civilians improve, trust will grow, and communities will become safer.
Fact Sheet [English]
Fact Sheet [Spanish]