Call to Action - Police Reform and Racial Justice

Rep. Goodman with Gerald Hankerson – President of NAACP State Conference Alaska/Oregon/WA
Americans from all backgrounds are coming together like never before in a national uprising for racial equity and justice system reform.

It is time to take action. I cannot just sit by in this historic moment. I am now passionately supporting and working on dismantling the institutional structures that have allowed people of color to be treated as second-class citizens for generations, especially in the criminal legal system.

Listening to Black Americans I try to imagine how it feels to be so afraid, angry and tired in a community that has suffered from the legacy of slavery, lynching and segregation. That legacy plays out today in more subtle, insidious ways, through discrimination in housing, health care and education, and especially through over-policing and mass incarceration.

For many years already my principal policy focus has been to bring justice back to the justice system, which I believe is the core civil rights movement of our time. I am now intensifying my efforts to reform our justice system, especially in the area of policing.

Last session I enacted new laws to hold police accountable for unreasonable uses of deadly force, to improve police training and to require independent investigations of police misconduct. See HB 1064 for details.

Given recent events, however, it is painfully clear that there is much unfinished business and it’s time to get back to work.

Police reform will be a top priority in the upcoming 2021 legislative session. As Chair of the House Public Safety Committee, I have now brought together a team to develop a comprehensive set of reforms related to police accountability, police training and tactics, and police-community relations.

Why is tear gas ever necessary, when it is even prohibited by the conventions of war? How can we tolerate use of chokeholds, which have caused needless injuries and death? Why are police equipped with intimidating military vehicles and weapons? What measures must be in place to ensure that we hold police accountable for misconduct?

We must re-imagine public safety and devote more resources to behavioral health care, housing, and support for youth and community organizations. Armed officers should not have to serve every function and component of our public safety, especially the timely and compassionate responses to people suffering from mental health crisis.

I need your inspiration and support in this effort, so please get in touch to share your thoughts and suggestions. In the meanwhile, rest assured that we’re getting to work on these critical issues!

Police Reform Efforts at State Level: Focus on Accountability, Transparancy

House Public Safety Committee Legislative Hearing: Call to Action on Police Reform - The Need for Evidence-Based Solutions

Recent Media Coverage

King5 — Washington Lawmakers Weigh Reform Bills Ahead of Session

TVW — Washington Public Affairs Network Inside Olympia – Sept. 24

Host Austin Jenkins talks police reform and racial justice with Reps. Roger Goodman and Jesse Johnson, Monisha Harrell of the governor’s task force on police investigations, and Monica Alexander of the Criminal Justice Training Commission.
Inside Olympia - Sept. 24

Host Austin Jenkins talks police reform and racial justice with Reps. Roger Goodman and Jesse Johnson, Monisha Harrell of the governor's task force on police investigations, and Monica Alexander of the Criminal Justice Training Commission.

Posted by TVW -- Washington Public Affairs Network on Thursday, September 24, 2020