With the death of Charleena Lyles at the hands of Seattle police officers still casting a long shadow over our community, the Solid Ground Board of Directors unanimously voted to endorse I-940, De-Escalate Washington.
This initiative to the state legislature would require law enforcement to:
- Receive ongoing violence de-escalation, mental health, and first aid training.
- Provide first aid to civilians they shoot.
- Change standards for the use of deadly force.
- Add a “good faith” standard and independent investigations of police violence.
“If this initiative were in place, Charleena Lyles might be here today,” said Gordon McHenry, Jr., President & CEO of Solid Ground, which owns and operates the housing were Lyles lost her life.
“We call for justice for Charleena. We call for accountability. Charleena called for help and she was shot. No one believes that her death was an acceptable outcome. So, we join with people all across our state demanding better training and legal standards that increase safety for everyone in our state,” McHenry said.
“We have to be able to change laws so that someone else’s family isn’t standing up here going through what we’re going through right now,” Katrina Johnson, Lyles’ cousin, said at the Initiative’s kickoff rally outside Seattle City Hall on July 6.
The initiative needs to submit about 260,000 signatures by Dec. 29, 2017 to go to state lawmakers for the 2018 legislative session. Lawmakers could then approve I-940, deny it (in which case it would go on the 2018 ballot), or amend the proposal (in which case both the original and amended version would go to voters).
Signatures must be collected on paper petitions only, not electronically. Look for petitions in your community and join us in signing to get 1-940 on the ballot!