One cop in Seattle issues 80% of city's marijuana tickets


#1

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#2

The guy’s probably an asshole, but I think it’s a little shitty to call him racist - if his beat includes a primarily african american community (and there are definitely ethnically focused areas of seattle) there’s plenty of legitimate reasons he would be citing them more, and 34% is a discrepancy from 8% but it’s not like he’s just only handing them out.

I just think calling people racist is shitty because it implies you know what they’re thinking, and it’s pretty much impossible to refute a racism charge, it’s just modern McCarthyism.


#3

I’m flipping my coin at you, black man. Now I’m flipping my coin at you, other black man. Now I’m flipping my coin at you, other other black man. Now I’m flipping my coin at you, Mexican. Now I’m flipping my coin at you, Asian. Now I’m flipping my coin at you, black woman. (Etc…)


#4

man, if anyone ever needed to smoke a joint and mellow out, it’s this cop.


#5

I don’t see any links to a news story or anything. Which makes me curious; in a state where recreational use is legal, what infraction, exactly, are these tickets for?


#6

Yeah that’s true too, where’s the source?


#7

I assume there was no link because the submitted story was from the Daily Mail. Here’s a non-Daily-Mail link.


#8

Because Boing Boing, that’s why!

Also, much as I hate racism I’m inclined to agree with falcon. Calling a law or a statistic racist is fact, not opinion. Racism can be measured - except where it lurks in the human heart. It’s never good to accuse anybody of anything, based on what you just know they’re thinking.


#9

Actually, you can often measure that too.


#10

Maybe so, but we haven’t. And I’m not sure we should - who here is 100% certain they would pass the test?


#11

Not me, and I would be suspicious of anybody who said they would. I grew up white and male in the California suburbs, there’s zero chance I’m not racist in some way, and I know this, and it’s something I have to be vigilant about.


#12

Still a bit muddy. Were they ticketed for smoking on public property, or for smoking outside of a building (ie- in view of the public), but still on private property? Either way, it’s kinda pointless unless cigarette smoking is also prohibited in whatever “public” space is included under the statute.

@Boundegar: there’s nothing to pass, the ‘tests’ are intended to reveal possible biases.


#13

WA Resident here. As part of our legalization process, smoking cannabis anywhere in public is technically illegal. What is interesting is that the city of Seattle (after passing I-75 years ago) is supposed to treat cannabis crimes as their lowest priority.

Racism? Possibly but really this cops beat is the main downtown core where more non-white people do tend to congregate. More than anything this cop is just a complete jerk who completely disagrees with our recently passed cannabis laws and is doing what ever he thinks he can to fight against it.


#14

Yeah. Actively undermining a recently passed law makes him an asshole, I think we can mostly agree.


#15

Here’s a source to our local Seattle newspaper:

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2024203376_potofficerxml.html

The recent decriminalization only applies to private, home use. Smoking in public is still illegal (an infraction). However, it’s rather common, particularly in some of the sketchier areas of town.


#16

Recreational use isn’t legal here, but my community passed a mandate for the police department last year forcing minor possession to be the lowest priority.

The additional insight is appreciated (you, too, @Xyzzy) . I still say anywhere smoking cigarettes is legal, smoking weed should be legal. Make people think a bit more about where cigarette smoking is still viewed as acceptable. IMO, that shit stinks worse than weed, and is definitely worse for my non-smoking health.


#17

Oh and ‘unnamed’ officer? Not so.

This waste of space is known as (and I kid you not) Officer Randy Jokela.

I don’t so much have a problem with him issuing tickets for public use. Its in the law we voted for. My problem is his devotion to working against what we have passed and his gross insubordination towards the city attorney. Many of his reports on this are addressed to ‘Petey Holmes’ (our city attny who is for our legalization and even was first in line to buy some on opening day is named Pete Holmes) and refers to our legalization laws as ‘silly.’


#18

Oh no argument here. I personally feel we had to give into A LOT of nanny state thinking to get legalization passed. No where near perfect, but the fact that I can legally buy product that has been tested and labeled is a good thing.


#19

I happen to live in Seattle. Just for context, it’s rather common in certain areas (like certain corners of downtown) to see/smell someone smoking in public. From my totally anecdotal perspective, the users often seem to be African Americans.


#20

Here is a local Seattle source.

As far as the racism goes, I am going to err on the side of calling it as SPD does not have a good history with it.