As a former Spokane County deputy sheriff who was involved in a fatal shooting in 1971, I feel compelled to respond to the S-R’s Dec. 9 editorial, “Adopt new deadly force standard in Washington.” Public defenders and community organizers have no business being on the task force. Other than lawmakers, the only people who should be on the Joint Legislative Task Force on the Use of Deadly Force in Community Policing are those who have a thorough understanding of lethal force as it applies to self-defense, i.e., police officers and self-defense experts.
The use of deadly force is a science that goes way beyond what attorneys are taught is law school. I am appalled that at a time when the country is witnessing the killing of police officers approaching an all-time high, thanks to Obama’s war on cops, Olympia is searching for a solution for a problem that does not exist. The checks and balances are working fine. The Otto Zehm matter is a good example.
My unsolicited advice to the task force: Don’t drop “malice” and “good faith” standards.