First public hearing on use of deadly force legislation

In Washington state, police can use deadly force whenever a person poses a serious physical threat to an officer and others as long as law enforcement acts without malice and with a good faith.

That could change with new legislation proposed in the House and the Senate this year.

The House Committee on Public Safety is scheduled to hear public testimony regarding House Bill 1529 on Tuesday. The measure consists of recommendations from a task force created by Gov. Jay Inslee and state lawmakers to reduce the number of violent interactions between law-enforcement officers and the public.

The task force voted 14-10 to remove the phrases “malice” and “good faith” from the current law, which makes it difficult to charge an officer for wrongfully killing a person.