Seattle police officer Randy Jokela apparently missed the memo that marijuana possession and use is now legal in Washington state, largely citizens people were sick of people like Jokela abusing his power.
This week, Seattle police Chief Kathleen O’Toole announced that Jokela was responsible for 80 percent of the 82 marijuana-related citations issued between January 1 and June 30 of this year – with 37 percent of those tickets going to blacks and about half going to the city’s homeless. To say he was still abusing his power is an understatement.
Apparently this asshole wasn’t just writing tickets, he was being antagonistic and a general dick while doing it. On some tickets he requested the attention of pro-cannabis Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes and called Holmes “Petey”. Other times he would flip a coin in front of the likely black and homeless person he was citing as a way of deciding whether or not to write a ticket. On at least one occasion he called the new laws that he is paid to uphold “silly”.
Here’s what he wrote on the ticket of one person cited back in May according to a citation obtained by the Seattle Times.
“D was sitting on ledge in the middle of Occidental Park. D was sitting next to another male + both were smoking marijuana out of a blue colored glass pipes. D lost the coin flip, so he got the ticket while the other person [possibly “perp”?]walked. D was allowed to keep his pipe. *ATTN: PETEY HOLMES*”
To be fair, smoking cannabis in public is illegal in Seattle and Washington and the cop was within his rights to write the tickets. But as Holmes points out in a statement issued yesterday, that doesn’t give cops carte blanche to go back to their old ways. He says he supports the law, but also supports officers using a citation only as a last resort after giving someone a warning first.
“This isn’t about fining people; it’s about getting people to stop smoking marijuana in public, especially in crowded areas and places where families and children congregate,” Holmes said. “At the same time, City Council wisely recognized that even civil infractions can be issued in a racially disproportionate manner, much like the War on Drugs itself. That is why we have a reporting requirement to receive early indicators of any disproportionate enforcement.”
Holmes also apologized to the homeless people he says were cited as part of Jokela’s personal vendetta.
Jokela, 52, was most recently a bike cop in Seattle. Since the incident, he has been put under investigation and reassigned to a desk job.