During an 18-hour session that began Saturday morning at 8:30 a.m. and ended early Sunday morning at 2:30 a.m., House Bill 2037 was passed, modifying the standard for use of physical force by law enforcement.
According to Crosscut, HB 2037 would let police use physical force when someone flees an investigatory stop.
Rep. Peter Abbarno, R-Centralia, called the bill a “step in the right direction,” according to a news release from the House Republicans. However, he said it doesn’t go far enough to “fix” bills passed last session which were created to mitigate excessive use of force and establish requirements for tactics and equipment used by peace officers, according to previous reporting in The Chronicle.
A news release from the House Republicans referred to those bills as “anti-police” and states Abbarno’s intent to pass HB 1788, which would expand legal circumstances for police officers to engage in vehicular pursuits.
“House Republicans are hoping to change the law that stops police officers from vehicular pursuits. We are calling on Democrats to allow House Bill 1788 to come to the floor for a vote. The measure would allow police officers to engage in vehicular pursuits when there is reasonable suspicion that someone in the vehicle has committed or is committing a violent offense, is attempting to escape, or is driving under the influence,” Abbarno said. “This is an important public safety tool to ensure criminals are caught and brought to justice.”