Statement from Rep. Eric Robertson on the passage of House Bill 2037 and his call to pass House Bill 1788

Rep. Eric Robertson, R-Sumner, released the following statement after the passage of House Bill 2037 today, calling on the state House of Representatives to pass House Bill 1788.

“We took a step in the right direction today to unhandcuff our law enforcement officers and their abilities to keep our communities safe.

House Bill 2037 would modify the standard for use of force by peace officers. I supported this bill, but not without concern. This bill would provide some clarity lost with the enactment of the majority party's failed policies last year.

“I do believe it does not go far enough in giving law enforcement professionals the ability to protect our communities fully. It's full of new definitions and terms which have not been tested in our courts, therefore potentially inviting years of litigation. There is still work to be done, but I'm hopeful that it will become better as this bill moves through the process.

“Now, I call on the Washington State House of Representatives to pass House Bill 1788, which I sponsored. Like House Bill 2037, my bill would also correct the current statute and the massive changes last year's police reform legislation made to allow law enforcement officers to engage in a vehicular pursuit if there is reasonable suspicion the person in the vehicle has committed or is committing a crime.

“As a retired trooper with the Washington State Patrol, I've personally been involved in vehicle pursuits. I've made the decision to safely conduct a pursuit against someone violating the law. I've also decided to end a pursuit out of safety concerns for myself, the traveling public, and our communities. This discretion is something law enforcement professionals depend on in split-second decisions.

“It's time to keep our momentum forward-focused. Our law enforcement officers deserve that.”

House Bill 2037 passed the House on an 87-11 vote. It now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov