Fighting for Statewide Reforms

Institute truly independent investigations

For Initiative 940, passed by 60 percent of Washington voters, to truly live up community expectations, there is a need to have true statewide independent investigations of police killings. A system in which law enforcement investigates neighboring law enforcement agencies does not create community trust and does not improve on the many flaws Washington State has identified with investigations of police killings.

In 2017, by resolution, the City asked the CPC to create and staff an independent taskforce to make recommendations about how independent investigations should work in Seattle. The Serious and Deadly Force Investigation Taskforce (SDFIT), which included community members who had lost family members to police violence, police accountability advocates, and current and former law enforcement, made 15 recommendations last year. That included two for statewide reforms:

  1. Establish an investigative unit in the State Attorney General's Office to conduct criminal investigations of serious and deadly uses of force.
  2. Establish a state-level entity to review all closed investigations statewide. That includes reviewing all closed investigations for flaws and be a clearinghouse for all investigative reports and data statewide.

The CPC recommends the City of Seattle push for both of these reforms while we await the findings and contributions of the Governor's Task Force on Independent Investigations of Police Use of Force on this issue.

Other statewide reforms we need: