August 7, 2021
-The Post Millennial
Washington state Democrat Governor Jay Inslee signed a series of sweeping police reform bills in Washington state that limit the level of service law enforcement officers provide to the public. However, Governor Inslee’s multimillion-dollar taxpayer-funded protection detail budget continues to grow.
According to a Public Disclosure Request that The Post Millennial received from Washington State Patrol, Governor Inslee’s protection detail costs taxpayers an annual average of $2,886,240.00. In addition, taxpayers spend a yearly average of $1,815,456 for contracted legislative and capital campus security services through the Department of Enterprise Services to protect state lawmakers.
Calling the reformed actions a “moral mandate” when signing the legislation into law, Governor Inslee refused to listen to dire warnings from law enforcement officials regarding the severe consequences the reformed actions the public faces.
“This is changing completely the way we’ve responded to some of these calls … and there will be some calls that we just absolutely don’t respond to from here on out,” warned Moses Lake Police Chief Kevin Fuhr. “It’s going to change the level of service we give to our citizens. Not because we want to, but because we have to.”
There were a series of new police reform laws that were signed into legislation. The most significant changes to how police officers respond to calls come from HB 1054 and HB 1310, otherwise known as the “use of force bill.” Law enforcement officers can no longer make arrests based on “reasonable suspicion” and must establish “probable cause,” giving a green light for criminals to commit crimes without being held responsible.
The most significant impact these laws have on residents is the officers’ inability to pursue suspects fleeing in vehicles. Law enforcement officers will only be able to engage in pursuit if there is “probable cause” to arrest a person in the vehicle for committing a specified violent crime or sex offence such as murder, kidnapping, drive-by shootings, or rape, according to a statement released by the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
In addition, officers are no longer allowed to pursue suspects that have committed property crimes which include residential burglary, possession of a stolen vehicle, and theft. They can no longer pursue domestic violence incidents, including domestic violence, simple assault, violation of a no-contact or protection order, and stalking, the statement details.
Since the reformed laws went into effect on July 25, law enforcement agencies from across the state have reported horrific incidents stemming from the legislation.
For example, police officers could not pursue a dangerous domestic violence suspect that threatened to kill the victim, her two young children, and his mother. Officers attempted to arrest the suspect, but the new laws prevented them from doing so after the suspect fled in a vehicle. In another incident, sheriff’s deputies could not pursue a murder suspect within minutes of arriving on the scene since they had yet to establish probable cause and only had a suspect description.
In addition, Washington State Patrol Troopers were unable to pursue a reckless driving suspect involved in a head-on collision after driving down the wrong on-ramp. The victim involved was left injured and with a totalled car.
While Washington state residents suffer through the consequences of the reformed laws and lack of police response due to officers’ hands being tied, taxpayers continue to spend millions on protecting anti-police Democratic legislators.
Despite heavy criticism of the reformed laws across the aisle, state representative Jesse Johnson, sponsor of HB 1310, released a statement and doubled down on his support for the bill. He added that lawmakers would reassess the laws during the next legislative session in 2022.
The House Democratic Caucus members have continued to spin the criticisms as “misinformation” put out by pro-law-enforcement platforms.
Inslee’s office also doubled down on claims that law enforcement agencies were lying and told The Post Millennial, “It’s unfortunate to see misinterpretations of the law” after being asked to comment on incidents that stemmed from the new legislation.
During the signing of the legislation back in May, Inslee said, “These bills are all going to work in coordination with one another to create a system of accountability and integrity stronger than anywhere else in the nation.”
Rep. Johnson stated, “All of these bills together I think are a constellation of efforts to create accountability and justice within the system, and I think it’s going to make things safer.”
However, less than two weeks into the new legislation and claims from democratic legislators are failing as the reformed laws are already proving that Washington state is a far less safe place.