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Washington Legislature approves two more police reform bills

Courtesy: MGN

SEATTLE (AP) — The Washington Legislature has approved two more key police accountability bills — one imposing restrictions on tactics and equipment, and another establishing a statewide standard on use of force.

The bills are part of an ambitious package of accountability legislation the Democrats proposed this session following the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people, as well as the widespread demonstrations they inspired.

They were approved in Olympia Friday with support from majority Democrats after a conference committee of the House and Senate reconciled differences in the versions previously passed by each chamber.

Restrictions include an outright ban on chokeholds and neck restraints, as well as limits on the acquisition of military equipment by police departments and on how and when officers can use tear gas or engage in high-speed pursuits. Officers wouldn’t be able to use tear gas to quell public riots unless they first get approval from the top elected official in the jurisdiction, be it the mayor, county executive, county commission chair, or the governor in cases of the Washington State Patrol.


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