Washington lawmakers move quickly on police deadly force law - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Washington lawmakers move quickly on police deadly force law

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - Washington lawmakers are moving quickly to pass a compromise measure that supporters say would make it easier to prosecute police who commit wrongful shootings while still protecting those who make honest mistakes.

The News Tribune reports that the deal, announced at a public hearing Tuesday in Olympia, could end years of wrestling over a state law that makes it uniquely difficult for prosecutors to bring charges against officers who commit negligent or reckless shootings.

Activists had gathered signatures for an initiative to change the law, and it was expected to be on the ballot in November if lawmakers declined to approve it. But with some changes, influential police and prosecutor groups agreed to support the measure in a deal to keep it off the ballot.

The existing law requires that prosecutors prove an officer acted with malice - a hurdle no other state has. Under the new measure, such determinations would consider what a "reasonable officer" might have done under the circumstances.

Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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