State Senate panel advances deadly force legislation

Washington State Capitol

Washington State Capitol

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A Senate committee has approved a compromise bill that would lower the bar for bringing criminal charges against law-enforcement officers who use deadly force.

The measure was approved Thursday with bipartisan support by the Law and Justice Committee, The Seattle Times reports.

Current law states that an officer can’t be charged if he or she acted in good faith and without malice when using deadly force. The compromise version of Senate Bill 5073 that advanced removes the word “malice” and gives a clearer definition of what “good faith” means.

The bill also includes a dedicated state account to fund officer training, and makes changes to previous proposals on training, community outreach and how to collect data on deadly use-of-force incidents.