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Policing

Law enforcement must protect both public safety and the rights of individuals. This is why arrests and use of force should be last resorts, not first options, for police. The ACLU-WA advocates for stronger laws regulating police use of force, alternatives to arrest and incarceration, and de-escalation practices and training. And to ensure law enforcement is accountable to the people they serve, the ACLU-WA works for greater community oversight, such as independent civilian review boards with disciplinary authority.
Change state law on prosecuting police for killings
Victory:  Spokane Police will no longer unlawfully detain immigrants
Demand justice: There must be a just response to the killing of Charleena Lyles
Know your rights:  Download our guide on what to do if you're stopped by the police

Resources

News Release, Published: 
Monday, May 11, 2015
Governor Inslee today signed into law a bill restricting the use of cell site simulator devices (popularly known as “Stingrays”). The measure (HB 1440) requires that a judge find there is probable cause that use of a Stingray will lead to evidence of criminal activity, and it includes judicial education and data retention provisions that are the first of their kind in the nation.
News Release, Published: 
Thursday, April 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."
News Release, Published: 
Friday, February 13, 2015
The ACLU-WA is deeply concerned about this very disturbing incident.  Fleeing from police and not following an officer’s command should not be sufficient for a person to get shot.  Lethal force should be used only as an absolute last resort. 
Published: 
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
Recent public outcry for police accountability and reform has been sparked by an epidemic of police violence targeted disproportionately at people of color. Advocacy groups, the public, and the president alike have touted body worn cameras as a potential cure for police misconduct.  If officers wear cameras, runs the thinking, we would have a clear visual record of what actually happened and who was at fault in disputed encounters with civilians.
News Release, Published: 
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
The ACLU of Washington today released a letter sent to Burien officials urging the repeal of a recently adopted law targeting the homeless. In the attached letter, the ACLU explains the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and overly broad, and invites arbitrary enforcement.
Published: 
Wednesday, July 16, 2014
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.
Published: 
Monday, July 7, 2014
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.
Published: 
Friday, June 20, 2014
Have you wondered where Seattle’s police drones are? How about … Los Angeles? In an aptly named article “Game of Drones” in the LA Weekly, Seattle journalist Rick Anderson chronicles how the Los Angeles Police Department acquired the two 3.5 Draganflyer X6 drones as a gift from the Seattle Police Department.
Published: 
Thursday, June 19, 2014
When people hear that their police department is considering equipping officers with body cameras, their initial reaction is likely to be “Good!”  Many instances of police misconduct have come to light over the years because someone recorded the incident with a mobile camera. So having a camera attached to each officer seems like a great way to ensure accountability.
Published: 
Monday, May 12, 2014
Transforming an institution’s practices and culture takes endurance, dedication, and tenacity.  Doubly so when attempting to transform a police department - an institution modeled on the military - into one that understands its roles as “servants of the Constitution” and “guardians of the community,” as Sue Rahr describes it.

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