PTOI and Families Join Governor Inslee for De-escalate Signing

by Puyallup Tribal News Staff

Justice for Jackie is justice for all. It’s no longer just a mantra for a mother’s lost daughter—it’s now the law.

Nearly three years after Puyallup Tribal member Lisa Earl, the mother of Jacqueline Salyers, lost her daughter to a Tacoma police shooting, and launched Justice for Jackie, Jackie’s family and members of the Puyallup Tribe joined Gov. Jay Inslee at the State Capitol on Feb. 4, 2019, to witness the signing of new legislation that strengthens and clarifies Initiative 940 that was approved by voters last November.

“This signing by Gov. Inslee of House Bill 1064 was a great day for sure, as the people were tested and it was they who brought us to this historic place. It won’t bring my Jackie back, but it brings me some peace knowing that she was with us throughout this journey, and because of her, and all those families that stood together to lead this effort, this bill will build our community trust and preserve our future generations,” said Earl, as she reflected on the significance of this historic occasion.

The signing comes after a hard-fought campaign for the voter-approved Initiative 940 supported and led by victims’ families, the Puyallup Tribe and De- Escalate Washington, a coalition of diverse community leaders from across the state who authored the initiative and organized the campaign. The campaign included her uncle Councilmember James Rideout, a Justice for Jackie spokesperson; Councilmember Tim Reynon, who cochaired the I-940 campaign; and Puyallup Tribal Member Chester Earl, who is Jackie’s second cousin and served on the board of the I-940 campaign.

Members of Jackie’s family attended the bill signing flanked by Councilmembers Rideout, Reynon, David Bean and Annette Bryan, along with Puyallup Tribal Police Officers, Lieutenants Jeff Berys and William Loescher.

“In this we are asking individuals to step into a space that has been defined for centuries by legally justified violence and oppression, and we are asking all of us to create a new space defined by understanding and compassion,” said Gov. Inslee. “It is a message that when people listen to each other and open their hearts to each other justice can move forward.”

Councilmembers Rideout and Reynon, and Tribal member Chester Earl testified in favor of new legislation that bridged the divide between communities and law enforcement even after voters approved I-940. Under House Bill 1064, sponsored by Rep. Roger Goodman, D-Kirkland, chair of the House Public Safety Committee, the groups came together to honor buy-in and trust for both cops and communities.

“Years of tears and a community band together, thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Sylvia Miller, Tim Reynon Tribal elder and former chairwomen Ramona Bennett, as well as countless Tribal members. This, what seemed to be an impossible task, became a reality the day the bill was signed into law! We did it Jackie!” said Councilmember Rideout.

The new law is the result of a collaborative effort between legislators, the law enforcement community, family advocates and members of De-escalate Washington. It requires a new standard for the use of deadly force, boosted police training on de-escalation tactics, and independent investigations for police shootings, along with an emphasis on cultural awareness and building relationships in diverse communities disproportionately affected by deadly police force.

Councilmember Reynon, who participated in the negotiations that led to the new legislation, described the collaborative efforts as, “one of the most significant things that came out of this effort. Each of us stood by our word and showed that we were serious about working together to build bridges between our communities and law enforcement to make our communities safer for all of us.”

In his testimony in favor of the legislation, Councilmember Reynon further emphasized that the Tribe’s support of the collaborative process was inspired by families, in particular, Lisa Earl.

“Ever since one of our members, Jacqueline Salyers, was killed on Jan. 28, 2016, our work has been led by Jackie’s mom. And her mantra has been ‘Justice for Jackie is Justice for All.’ And by all she meant “all” of us. Our members of our communities as well as our law enforcement officers that put their lives on the line everyday,” Reynon told the Committee.

“For tribes and Native People, this bill will clarify and strengthen the requirements of law enforcement agencies to notify us when one of our members is involved in one of these situations. And it will make sure that we have a voice at the table, that our voices are heard, and that our culture is reflected in the policies that will be adopted going forward.”

Chester Earl, testifying in favor of HB 1064, emphasized that collaboration and independent investigations into police shootings was a critical factor in building trust among communities.

“We were committed to saving lives in Washington, both in the community and in law enforcement,” Earl said. “Without buy-in from each and every one of us, it will not work. This can’t be a community campaign alone. This can’t be a law enforcement campaign alone.”

Councilmember Sylvia Miller would like to thank everyone who made the journey to passing this initiative possible. “This is a huge move toward better training, improvements of laws, strengthening trust within communities, and fair investigation for all,” Miller said. “This can only make our world a much better place to live in.”

Photo above, left to right: Chester Earl, Councilmember Annette Bryan, Gov. Inslee, Lisa Earl, Councilmember Tim Reynon, Tribal Police Officers Lieutenants William Loescher and Jeff Berys, and Vice Chairman David Bean at the signing. Photo by Sue Evans.