SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee selected Spokane City Council President Breean Beggs to serve at the new office that will help investigate cases involving police use of deadly force.
Inslee announced his picks of 11 members on Tuesday to serve on the Office of Independent Investigation (OII). Inslee requested the creation of the new office to supervise police use of force based on recommendations from his 2020 task force convened after the deaths of George Floyd and Manuel Ellis.
The Legislature approved House Bill 1267 last spring as part of a series of police reform bills signed by Inslee. Family members of people killed by police in Washington played an active role in pushing the legislation as they testified since the beginning of this year in front of Congress.
"This new independent office will provide real accountability when police take a person’s life with a focus on working with the families of those killed," Rep. Debra Entenman said. "Knowing that a thorough, unbiased investigation has taken place will help families and communities heal."
Beggs has served as Spokane City Council President since 2019. He is an advocate for criminal justice reform and civil rights. Beggs has more than 20 years of experience presenting causes and cases to juries, appellate judges, arbitrators, mediators and community groups.
Among Inslee's picks to serve on the advisory board of the new office are Norma Gallegos, an immigration services coordinator from Leavenworth, Washington, and Philip Harju, a federally recognized tribal member from Olympia.
The OII advisory board will provide advice and input to the director on the creation and operation of the office. A national search for the OII director position is underway to identify candidates for the job.