deadly force

One casualty of the looming end of Washington state’s legislative session is a bill on police use of deadly force.

Washington has one of the highest bars in the nation for charging police officers who use deadly force. They are protected as long as they act in good faith and without malice.

SEATTLE (AP) — A Washington state prosecutor says he will not file criminal charges against two Seattle police officers who fatally shot a 46-year-old African-American man last year.

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said at a news conference Tuesday that the officers, who are white, reasonably believed their lives were in danger when they shot Che Taylor in February 2016. He says "their use of deadly force at that moment was authorized by law."

Washington prosecutors say state law makes it nearly impossible to criminally charge a police officer who uses deadly force. Now a key state lawmaker predicts that law will change this year.

At a hearing in Olympia Tuesday, citizens supporting a pair of bills in the Washington legislature involving the use of deadly force by police said it’s too hard to keep law enforcement officers accountable. But some officers who showed up to testify said it’s not a change of legal language that's needed.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Should it be easier to criminally charge police officers in Washington who use deadly force? A legislative task force says “yes”—but the vote was far from unanimous. Washington lawmakers are undecided on the issue as they convene Monday for their 2017 session.

Community uproar about police shootings around the country prompted Washington state lawmakers to review the use of deadly force. A task force they convened meets Monday in Olympia to adopt its final recommendations.

The recent police shootings of African-American men in Louisiana and Minnesota have reignited the debate over use of deadly force. That was on the mind of a black community leader in Washington state as she strapped on a gun belt and took aim inside a state-of-the-art training simulator for police.

At the Washington State Patrol Academy in Shelton, Corporal Lori Hinds guides a pair of visitors into what looks like a walk-in video game. Inside five, large video screens form a 300-degree computer-generated environment.