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Initiative 940, Deadly force

Washington’s law says police officers can’t be held criminally liable in deadly force incidents unless they act with malice. I-940 would remove malice as a requirement in order to charge an officer involved in a deadly force incident. Instead, an officer would be protected against prosecution if deadly force met both objective and subjective good-faith tests. An objective good-faith test means the officer believed deadly force was necessary to prevent death or serious harm to himself or someone else. A subjective test means the officer believed there was a lawful purpose and it was warranted under the circumstances.

Election results

174
Option Votes Pct
Yes 1,815,152 59.60%
No 1,230,658 40.40%

Related coverage

Voters back changes to deadly force standards in I-940

Law enforcement officers in Washington will face different standards for incidents involving deadly force.


Jay Fleming: Support Initiative 940 to better train police and save lives

Recently, in an editorial on Initiative 940 (“Vote no on the gun initiatives,” Oct. 17, 2018), this newspaper made the case that our men and women in blue put their lives on the line every day. As a former Lincoln County deputy sheriff and Spokane Police Department undercover narcotics operative, I agree. Unfortunately, that’s about the only thing in the editorial I agree with. As a career law enforcement officer, I’m asking you to dismiss the scare tactics and vote “Yes” on Initiative 940. It will improve training for all officers in Washington and help save lives.


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Deadly force initiative, I-940, headed to Washington ballot without proposed changes

Initiative 940, which changes the rules for reviewing cases of the police use of deadly force, must go on the November ballot, a divided Washington Supreme Court rules.


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I-940 should go on the ballot, but not the changes, judge rules

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Eyman sues over Legislature’s changes to I-940

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