Senate passes bill expanding police authority to pursue fleeing suspects

The Washington State Senate passed a bill Wednesday expanding the authority of police to pursue fleeing suspects.

SB 5352 would change a controversial 2021 law that puts limits on when police and deputies can chase a suspect who refuses to stop.

A companion bill, House Bill 1363, was shot down by the state legislature Tuesday.

“I want to thank my colleagues for taking the procedural step to get this bill a vote on the floor,” said Sen. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) on the passage of the bill. “Ensuring the authority of police to pursue violent criminals will help us catch bad guys and keep folks safe. This is an important part of our public safety mission this year, along with reforming our drug possession laws, passing legislation on gun violence prevention, and a whole host of other good bills. This bill isn’t perfect, but it’s a big improvement over the status quo, and I want to see it move through the rest of the process and get to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.”

The bill will make its way to the House for consideration next.

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