Arrow-right Camera

Election Center


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.

Jurisdiction: State of Washington


Related coverage

Opponents and supporters of Washington Initiative 940 on deadly force were allies, and could be again

Initiative 940 will pit once and possibly future allies against each other this fall.


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.


Will voters have 1, 2 or no “deadly force” measure on November ballot?

Washington Supreme Court to decide whether an initiative on the police use of deadly force must go on the November ballot by itself, with an alternative version, or not at all.


Supreme Court to review deadly force initiative

The Washington Supreme Court sets hearing on whether voters should vote on an initiative that would change state laws on police use of deadly force.


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

Initiative 940 should go on the November ballot, but not the changes the Legislature approved, a Thurston County Superior Court judge ruled Friday


Eyman sues over Legislature’s changes to I-940

Initiative activist Tim Eyman challenges legislative maneuver that changes Initiative 940 without putting it on the ballot.


Spin Control: How I-940 could become law with changes already on the books

How the Legislature undid parts of Initiative 940 before it becomes law.


Deadly force initiative moves forward in Washington legislature

Legislature could pass deadly force initiative and a bill to change a day later.