Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin testified in favor of reforming Washington's state law on police deadly force in Olympia today, citing his father's history as a Florida police officer. "He knew the decisions he made had an impact," Baldwin said. "This is a journey to find solutions."
A Washington state law currently requires prosecutors to make a two-pronged argument if they are going to prosecute cops for killing someone: They must show that the officer acted "with malice and without a good faith belief." The law, passed in 1986, is the most restrictive in the nation.
"Removing malice from the statute," Baldwin said, "and at least further defining what good faith means as an objective standard is not only the logical thing to do—it is the right thing to do."
Baldwin said the law effectively places police above the law by protecting reckless behavior from accountability. He said his father told him he was proud of him for testifying.
The task force votes on its recommendations today.
Speaking to reporters afterward, Baldwin said regardless of what the task force and legislature end up doing, he also supports Initiative 873, a popular referendum which would remove both "malice" and "good faith" from the state law. He joins teammate Michael Bennett as the second Seahawks player to publicly endorse the initiative.