Policing to Change, Or is it?


SQ Attorneys

SQ Attorneys

During this past legislative session, the Washington State Legislature passed several bills focused on policing. The bills are as follows: (1) HB 1054; (2) HB 1310; (3) HB 1267; and (4) SB 5055.

HB 1054 imposes restrictions on the use of tear gas, bans choke-holds and neck restraints, bans vehicular pursuits excepting specific scenarios, bans no-knock search and arrest warrants, prohibits the use of military equipment in certain scenarios, and convenes a work group on the training and deployment of K9s. HB 1310 establishes standards for when officers can use force. HB 1267 creates a new office of Independent Investigations for cases involving deadly force, and SB 5055 mandates the formation of a new arbitration panel to handle disciplinary appeals.

So how will the Seattle Police Department (the “SPD”) be impacted by these bills? That’s a very good question. As for HB 1054, perhaps not much. Why? Because although HB 1054 may bring significant changes to policing throughout the State of Washington, The SPD has already implemented much of what is covered in the bill. For example, (1) choke-holds and neck restraints are already prohibited in Seattle, (2) the SPD already strictly adheres to the ‘knock-and-announce’ rule, and (3) SPD’s guidelines for vehicular pursuits are more restrictive than those outlined in HB 1054. As for the other three bills, time will tell. In short, the impacts of HB 13120 and 1267, as well as SB 5055 are ‘TBD’. So, stay tuned, as they say.

If you or a loved one is facing a criminal charge (whether it be in municipal, district our superior court), don’t hesitate to hire a qualified Seattle Criminal Defense Lawyer. The Seattle Criminal Defense Attorneys that make up the criminal defense team of SQ Attorneys are highly qualified and reputable Seattle criminal attorneys that are dedicated to providing top notch, aggressive representation for those arrested or charged for crime all across Western Washington and the Greater Puget Sound region. The team creates success by working with law enforcement and the prosecuting attorney’s office to ensure that all facts and circumstances related to the allegations are considered in creating the fairest, most equitable and just resolution possible in light of all the surrounding circumstances of the given case. So, whether you are cited with an infraction or arrested and/or charged with misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or a felony, protect yourself … call SQ Attorneys at (206) 441-0900.

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