Radio Report: Police pursuit bill at risk as Democrats balk against committee vote

Bipartisan legislation to restore the ability of police to engage in vehicle pursuits could be at risk as majority Democrats balk at allowing a committee vote. John Sattgast reports from Olympia.

 Radio Report Transcript

SATTGAST: A House committee was expected to vote on the police pursuit bill Thursday after emotional testimony last week. But Republican co-sponsor Representative Eric Robertson says it’s now in doubt.

ROBERTSON: “There’s allegedly not enough support on the Democratic side in the committee to vote that out to send it to the floor for proper debate.”

SATTGAST: During committee testimony, restrictions passed in 2021 against police pursuits were blamed for the hit-and-run death of a 12-year-old Pierce County girl and injuries to her friend. The girls were struck by a felon in a stolen landscaping truck, who had earlier fled police as they could only watch him drive off. Puyallup Representative Kelly Chambers

CHAMBERS: “This is not just about broken windows and stolen vehicles. This is about lives. And it is deadly for us not to address this vehicle pursuit issue.”

SATTGAST: Robertson says Washington can’t wait another year for a fix.

ROBERTSON: “We’ve got people from all of our communities saying the crime wave is too much. We need to act. We need to do something now.”

SATTGAST: John Sattgast, the state Capitol


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