Washington Rep. Eric Robertson (R) has proposed House Bill 1053 is asking for the public’s help to garner support for his bill to roll back the police pursuit law changes made in 2021.
As it stands now, the law prohibits officers from pursuing car theft suspects unless they have established probable cause that they committed a crime.
If police witness a suspect commit a violent crime and then that suspect speeds away, they can pursue if the person is deemed dangerous enough.
However, simply seeing someone driving a stolen car does not meet the standard for using force to stop them. The suspect can simply speed away, police say.
Law enforcement leaders say that has emboldened criminal who refuse to stop for police. Prior to 2021, officers could detain people based on reasonable suspicion that they committed a crime which is a lower evidentiary level of proof. If police witness a suspect commit a violent crime and then that suspect speeds away, they can pursue if the person is deemed dangerous enough.
Rep. Robertson says he hasn't had a single member of the Democratic party sign on yet to move his bill out of committee.
"Kind of interesting. Many of them campaigned last year on fixing this. Nobody is willing to step up from the Democratic party to sign on to that bill and or\promise it a hearing," said Rep. Robertson.
He is asking for citizens to go to LEG.WA.GOV and look up your legislator and send them an email or letter asking them to support House Bill 1053.