Washington high court sends deadly force measure to ballot

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Supreme Court says voters will have their say in November on a measure designed to make it easier to prosecute police for negligent shootings.

But they won’t get to vote on a compromise bill preferred by law enforcement, advocates and many lawmakers.

In a split ruling Tuesday, the high court ruled that voters should vote on Initiative 940, which was submitted to the Legislature earlier in the year. The measure is designed to improve police training in de-escalation tactics and eliminate a requirement that prosecutors prove officers acted with malice to get a conviction in negligent shootings.

The Legislature approved Initiative 940 in March, but in an unprecedented move, it first passed a separate bill amending the initiative and replacing it with compromise language. A 5-4 majority said that deprived voters of their say on whether to enact the original measure.