Two dozen to tackle issues of racial justice, police reform

Inslee names civil rights activists, pastors, and cops to panel that may forge ideas for new laws

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee on Monday named a 24-member task force to examine issues of policing and racial justice, and try to forge recommendations for legislation on independent investigations involving police use of force.

Black Lives Matter, NAACP, Latino Civic Alliance, Equal Rights Washington and Disability Rights Washington are among the organizations represented. The panel also includes a relative of Charleena Lyles, a pregnant mother shot and killed in her home by Seattle police in 2017, and a member of the John T. Williams Organizing Committee, named for the Native American woodcarver who was walking across the street carrying his carving knife and a small piece of wood when he was shot and killed by a Seattle police officer in 2010.

A county prosecuting attorney, and representatives of state troopers, sheriffs, police officers and the City of Seattle Office of Police Accountability are participating. A complete list of members can be found online at www.governor.wa.gov.

Task force members will review the investigative protocols under I-940, the voter-approved measure aimed at curbing the use of deadly force by law enforcement officers. The panel will consider other independent investigation models, and provide input to help inform legislation for the 2021 session, according to a press release. Inslee announced formation of the task force earlier this month. The panel will hold its first meeting in July.

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