Action Alert: De-escalate WA


Initiative 940 is an initiative to the Legislature on law enforcement training and community safety.  Specifically, it - 

  • Requires training for violence de-escalation, mental health, and first aid.
  • Provides that police should render first aid at the scene.
  • Applies a good faith standard for use of deadly force and removes the de facto immunity.  
  • Requires completely independent investigations of use of deadly force when there is injury or death.
  • Brings diverse community stakeholders to the table for the development of standards and curriculum.
  • Includes Tribal governments in investigations where a tribal person was injured or killed.


1. SIGN:  Washington registered voters need to sign the petition and return the petition to De-Escalate Washington.                                          
2. VOLUNTEER: All of us need to gather signatures from registered voters.  Anyone is eligible to gather, even kids!

HOW: The petition is a legal document and is not on-line. The paper petition must be signed, and returned to the campaign. Each petition has space for 20 signatures. You can mail a petition back with just one signature, or you can ask other Washington registered voters to sign.

We have petitions available or you can request a petition by texting Request to Or fill out a form online: and a petition will be mailed to you.

WHEN: Do this now! The petitions should be returned as soon as possible. The campaign has seven weeks left to gather the required signatures.  It is going to be tight and every signature you gather is important.

RETURNING THE PETITIONS: There is an address printed on the back of each petition.  Fold the petitions in half, and thirds, stamp them, and drop in the mail.

The address is:

De-Escalate WA I-940
PO Box 99490
Seattle, WA  98139-0490


The situation

Washington State law on use of deadly force by police is the worst in the nation.  We are the only state that has a de facto immunity in the law that is a barrier to prosecution.  Our law has a complete defense so that law enforcement are not held accountable for unlawful deadly force. Since the law was passed in 1986 there have been zero convictions for unlawful use of force by police.  Last year in Washington State police killed 29 people. This year, 34 people have been killed so far.  About one-third of all persons killed by police are experiencing some sort of mental health crisis.

What is Initiative 940?

Initiative 940 is an initiative to the legislature.  If enough signatures are collected it will go to the legislature.  The legislature can pass it, do nothing, or propose an alternative.  If the do nothing, it goes on the ballot in the general election in November 2018.  If they propose an alternative both I-940 and the alternative go on the ballot. We need to get 259,000 signatures of valid registered voters by December 29, 2017.  We are aiming for over 300,000 for a margin of error.

What does I-940 do?

Initiative 940 removes the de facto immunity; it requires violence de-escalation and mental health training; it requires that first aid be rendered on the scene; it requires completely independent
investigations; it requires that Tribes be notified of and be included in investigations when a tribal member is injured or killed; and it requires that community stakeholders be included in policy making.  The initiative specifically requires input from organizations advocating for: Persons with disabilities; members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community; persons of color; immigrants; non-citizens; native Americans; youth; and formerly incarcerated persons.

You can read more about the Initiative here:

And you can follow the campaign on Facebook.  @deescalatewashington