Doug Baldwin urges change in WA deadly force law

Jenna Hanchard reports.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin is urging a change to a Washington state law on the ability to prosecute officers who use deadly force.

Baldwin testified Monday before the Washington State Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing task force. The force is studying the statute that says police can't be charged with a crime for using deadly force unless it can be proved they acted with "malice" and without "good faith."

Baldwin, whose father was a police officer for 35 years, said that the malice standard should be removed. No other state uses the requirement. He has previously called on all 50 state attorneys general to review training for law enforcement officers to better handle de-escalating crisis situations.

"Law enforcement agencies want to serve their communities. They want to serve them with the best-trained officers. They want to serve them with the most useful resources to make their communities safer. And the communities want the same thing. And if this is truly what is desired by both sides, then removing 'malice' from the statute and at least further defining what 'good faith' means as an objective standard is not only the logical thing to do, it's the right thing to do," said Baldwin.

Most on the task force agree "malice" should be removed from state law, and a "good faith" standard" is under debate as well. Some police groups object to any change.

The task force is expected to adopt recommendations to the Legislature, which will ultimately decide whether or not to move forward with them.

Copyright 2016 KING


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