Legislative leaders Jinkins, Billig block police pursuit reform
We must take action this week or wait another year.
It’s hard to believe, but Washington law does not allow police to vehicularly pursue most criminal suspects. Essentially, a criminal can commit a crime in front of a police officer, take off in their car and the officer cannot follow them to make an arrest. That’s the law.
The law has been a clear disaster for public safety. There have been repeated instances of officers unable to go after suspects because the law handicapped them and more than 3,000 suspects have fled Washington State Patrol officers since the 2021 law took effect. But key legislators are doubling down on a false narrative and refusing to allow bipartisan proposals to fix the police pursuit law so much as a public hearing.
The majority party refuses to change this terrible law. They have proposed a long and costly study to shove this bill to the back burner, but how many more criminals will get away while they “study” the issue?
We don’t need more data, we need safe streets. We need to let the police apprehend criminals.
House Speaker Jinkins and Senate Majority Leader Billig have the power to bring the vehicle pursuit law to the floor for a vote. They have the power, but they still aren’t doing anything about it.
Maybe Billig doesn’t want to admit he was wrong to vote for the bill that makes Washington less safe. Maybe he doesn’t want to acknowledge that the data used to defend the bill has been debunked by a lawmaker in his own party. In fact, an independent review concluded the data “should be disregarded in its entirety and should not be used to inform legislative decision-making.”
Rep. Jenny Graham said, “You are living the consequences of bad policy passing in which people are being injured, being killed. These are not numbers to me; these are real people with real consequences.” She continued, “crime does not care, does not ask what political party you belong to, so this is something that should be bringing us all together.”
There is a bipartisan effort to fix that terrible decision in this legislative session, but we can’t do it alone. Contact Billig and Jinkins NOW and demand that they stop wasting time and bring the vehicle pursuit bill to the floor for a vote.
This request is urgent. The bill cutoff date is this Friday so your voice needs to be heard before then. If the bill mises the Friday cutoff, it will be a year before we can correct this travesty.
We can’t wait another year to act on this issue. The safety of our communities depends on it.