Supporters of Initiative 940, which would require additional police training and improve accountability in fatal police shootings, today celebrated certification of the measure after verification of more than 350,000 petition signatures submitted to the Secretary of State. With certification, the initiative is referred to the State legislature for consideration. The House and Senate can pass the initiative, propose an alternative policy, or take no action, which would result in I-940 moving on to the November ballot.
“This is a great day for the more than 350,000 Washington voters who signed on to support de-escalation of police violence in our communities,” said Tim Reynon, Puyallup Tribal Council Member and a spokesperson for I-940. “The outpouring of support for this measure from across the state reflects a strong desire to protect families from unnecessary tragedy, and to better equip law enforcement to reduce use of force deaths and strengthen trust with their communities.”
Marilyn Covarrubias, whose unarmed son Daniel was killed by Lakewood police in April 2015, spent many hours volunteering to help I-940 qualify for the ballot. “The opportunity to make sure other families don’t have to go through what our family went through is what keeps me going. I really believe we can do better and changing the law is the first step.”
Supporters, including a broad coalition of directly-impacted families and social justice, civil liberties, community, labor, and law enforcement reform advocates, understand that legislative action seems unlikely in a short session with a heavy agenda and are preparing for an electoral campaign.
“This effort has been a labor of love for many volunteers who have seen first-hand the damage done in their communities by unnecessary loss of life. We came together and vowed to ‘do the work’ to stop it. Changing the legal framework for police use of deadly force is an important part of the solution, and today marks a major milestone toward that goal,” said Andrè Taylor. Taylor and his wife Dove founded the community organization Not This Time in 2016, shortly after his brother Che Taylor was killed in a police shooting.
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