Monday, April 12, 2021
April 12, 2021

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Letter: Demilitarize local police

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We need ways to keep us safe in our communities. The thought of military equipment being used on our community streets puts fear in my heart and serious concern about those who are charged to keep the peace. One must be trained in war tactics to use war machines.

I feel more endangered and even more so do Blacks, Pacific Islanders, Southeast Asians, Latinos, and Indigenous people, knowing our police have and are trained in war tactics. Clearly with the level of excessive force and killings, more training needs to be in peacemaking and de-escalation tactics to truly begin making our streets safe for everyone.

To do this, we need to take the most violent police tactics off the table entirely. I support the ban on neck restraints and on no-knock warrants, hot pursuits, shooting at moving vehicles, use of police dogs, tear gas, and military equipment. This is in HB 1054 and I applaud the work of Rep. Jesse Johnson, D-Federal Way, for bringing this legislation forward. It is clear that policing has to change and this is one piece of making the necessary changes to move forward.

No one in our community should feel safe when police are purchasing, owning and using military war equipment to be used against community members on our community streets.

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