Noting the devastating impact of police violence on communities of color and the imperative to bridge the divide between communities and police, MomsRising has endorsedInitiative Measure No. 940 (I-940), a ballot measure designed to reduce police violence through mandatory de-escalation, mental health training, community-based policing policies and removing barriers to holding law enforcement officers accountable for police-involved shootings. MomsRising is a national online and on-the-ground organization with more than 40,000 members in Washington state and 1 million across the nation.
“It is shameful that preventable tragedies where police unnecessarily take the lives of people of color – mothers, fathers, teens and children – are almost routine in this country. As a nation, we have no higher priority than to address racial bias and police violence against communities of color,” said MomsRising Executive Director and CEO Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, a Washington state resident. “Washington State can lead the way by taking a systemic approach to statewide police reform. We urge every registered Washington voter to sign on.”
I-940 would require all law enforcement officers in the state to receive violence de-escalation and mental health training. It would require law enforcement personnel to provide life-saving first aid, remove the de facto immunity for police officers involved in deadly shootings, and require independent investigations of use of deadly force when there is injury or death. It also requires inclusion of Tribal governments in investigations when a tribal person is injured or killed, and that diverse community stakeholders help develop standards and curricula for law enforcement.
“No mom or dad, no son or daughter, should ever have to fear that a loved one will come to harm at the hands of those charged with protecting us,” added MomsRising Vice President and Chief Partnership & Diversity Officer Monifa Bandele. “Police shootings leave families devastated and communities reeling, too often the perpetrators aren’t held accountable and too often the victims are disproportionately people of color. We must work to dismantle institutionalized racism and white supremacy in our police departments. I-940 is exactly the kind of initiative we need in Washington and in jurisdictions across the country.”
I-940 is an initiative to the legislature. It must receive 259,622 signatures from registered Washington voters by December 29, 2017 to qualify. If it qualifies, the 2018 legislature will have 60 days to pass a form of the initiative language into law. If they decline to do so, the initiative will automatically be placed on the 2018 general ballot.
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