Washington State Policy Accountability Updates: King County Charter Amendments 5 and 6 and House Bill 1054

Monday, March 8, 2021

King County Charter Amendments 5 and 6

Last November, King County voters overwhelmingly supported Charter Amendments 5 and 6, shifting the county from having an elected sheriff to an appointed one and allowing the County Council to restructure the duties of the sheriff’s office. By restricting the duties of the sheriff’s office, the council hopes to better tailor responses to challenges – like sending public health professionals to help someone going through a mental health crisis public – instead of relying on armed police officers.

Between these two amendments, the King County Council is hoping to ensure more accountability for the sheriff’s office and increased collaboration with the rest of the county.

To learn more, check out our video with King County Councilmember Girmay Zahilay!

House Bill 1054

There are also several meaningful police reform bills making their way through the legislature, including HB 1054, which recently passed the House. This bill would ban the use of hyper-aggressive tools and tactics like chokehold and neck restraints, no knock warrants, hot pursuits and shooting at moving vehicles that result in tragedy for civilians and police officers and escalate the risk of needless violence in our communities.

If you’re interested in learning more about why these reforms are so important, you can check out our blog post 5 Reads for Black History Month and Beyond.