Rep. Dan Griffey statement on majority party blocking vote on police pursuit bill

Rep. Dan Griffey, R-Allyn, issued the following statement after the House majority refused to allow full debate and a floor vote on a bipartisan vehicular pursuit bill.

“The House majority party’s refusal to accept a procedural motion to bring House Bill 1363 up for debate and a floor vote is a slap in the face of law enforcement across the state and dangerous for the people of Washington.

“No matter where you are in the state, crime has risen dramatically.

“When the current policy was passed two years ago, law enforcement warned us it would restrict their ability to pursue everyone from car thieves to murderers. 

“The current law – which requires officers to have probable cause to pursue a vehicle rather than reasonable suspicion – virtually eliminates the ability of officers to engage in vehicle pursuits. And now that restriction is killing people.

“Earlier this session, we heard from a Tacoma mother who says the current police pursuit law is to blame for the recent death of her 12-year-old daughter who was killed when the driver of a stolen vehicle crashed into them. I encourage you to watch her testimony. 

“Tragically, this past weekend, two children in Sunnyside were killed in a crash when a wrong-way drunk driver smashed into the vehicle they were in head on.

“As a retired firefighter I know how devastating it is to lose someone in a crash like this. Sadly, we will only lose more children and adults if we do not act this session to restore our vehicular pursuit policy to one that will allow law enforcement to do their job and protect the public.

“This will tip the scales even further in favor of criminals already emboldened by a policy they know prevents police from holding them accountable.”

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Washington State House Republican Communications
houserepublicans.wa.gov