State lawmakers weigh police deadly force bills

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OLYMPIA, Wash. — Lawmakers in Washington state are weighing bills that would raise the bar on when an officer can use deadly force.

Current law shields officers from prosecution unless they acted with malice and without 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 on two bills Tuesday related to 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.

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