Published on Feb 01, 2019

I-940 “fix” bill passes Legislature

Contact: Sharon Swanson, Shannon McClelland

The Washington State Legislature passed HB 1064 unanimously. The Governor is expected to sign the bill on Monday, February 4. Once signed, the bill will immediately become law due to the emergency provision.

Here is a summary of what this amended version of I-940 does:

  • Fixed an unintended consequence of I-940 that would have decertified officers when, for example, they were on military leave;
  • Cleaned up language about first aid being a "paramount duty." This created an unintended possibility of requiring officers to prioritize providing first aid despite an ongoing public safety concern, such as an active shooter;
  • The new version has a simpler and clearer definition of the deadly force standard, and balances community concerns with the challenges of law enforcement’s duty to make split-second decisions;
  • Both I-940 and HB 1064 remove "malice" from the definition of use-of-deadly-force standard;
  • Both versions require independent investigations of deadly-force incidents, a significant change. The Criminal Justice Training Commission will hold rulemaking on the definition of what constitutes an independent investigation;
  • Clarifies notifications to tribal governments when an officer’s use of deadly force results in the death of a tribal member; and
  • Adds clarification of reimbursement of defense costs if officers are acquitted or found not guilty.
  • Public safety & criminal justice
  • Advocacy
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