Police ReformIssue brief
Public Safety, Law Enforcement & Courts
In 2020, national attention has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic and urban unrest calling for law enforcement reforms. In the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and others, advocates have turned to the streets to protest for police reform. Many of these gatherings have turned violent against law enforcement, even resulting in the unauthorized occupation of the East Precinct of Seattle (known as “CHOP” or “CHAZ”). Throughout the nation, as well as in Washington State, there have been calls for fundamental change in law enforcement policies, particularly regarding use of force. In the upcoming 2021 legislative session, advocates, law enforcement groups, and legislators will be tasked with discussing police reform. Use of force by law enforcement has been central to these conversations: when it should be used, how to eliminate disproportionate use against certain population groups, and how to maintain transparency and accountability for law enforcement.