Sen. David Frockt, D-Seattle, issued this statement after Senate Bill 5073, the police use of deadly force compromise bill, failed to make it out of the Senate Ways and Means Committee on Friday.
“I am disappointed that the bill did not advance, and I know that there are people across this state who are even more disappointed but also equally committed to continuing to work on addressing this issue. This is far too important to walk away from. My discussions with key legislators on both sides of the aisle indicated an interest in exploring additional options as the session moves forward. I intend to do that.”
“I encourage everyone on all sides to remain at the table, continue talking and work together to find a solution that will provide the first step in making Washington a national leader on police and community relations.”
“This is a difficult issue – one that has passionate supporters and opponents – but I believe the compromise language, which has received bipartisan support, walked that fine line and remains the best vehicle for an eventual change in the law that removes malice, defines good faith with a reasonable officer standard and invests more resources in training, de-escalation tactics, data collection and community relations.”
“I did circulate some additional language options yesterday to many who have been actively involved that I think has potential, but there was no consensus.”
“Ultimately, there were those who felt that there needed to be no change in malice standard at all – a position that I do not agree with – and others who felt that officers should not be entitled to any benefit of the doubt for making a mistake – also a position that I do not agree with.”
Yesterday, I had the honor to speak with civil rights icon John Lewis while he was visiting Washington. He told me to ‘never stop fighting for what is right’ and ‘don’t give up.’ That is good advice. This is the right thing to do for our state, and I believe it is the course everyone involved should take on this very important issue.”