Seattle officer investigated for excessive marijuana tickets
A Seattle police officer is being investigated after writing a surplus of marijuana tickets. But it could be what he wrote on the tickets, not the quantity, that's the most interesting.
A report by the Seattle chief of police says the unnamed veteran officer wrote about 80 percent of the marijuana tickets the department gave.
On this ticket, he called the recent changes to marijuana laws "silly."
Those "silly" 2012 changes made it legal to possess small quantities of marijuana but still illegal to smoke in public.
And on this citation, he wrote that he flipped a coin to decide which person he would ticket for smoking pot in public.
He also referred to City Attorney Peter Holmes, a man known to be in favor of marijuana legalization, as "Petey Holmes" on many of the tickets.
Although the department report did not name the officer, The Seattle Times identifies the man as Randy Jokela, citing "department sources." The article notes Jokela joined the force in 1990 and was named co-officer of the year in 2005.
The Seattle police have been in the hot seat before for their distribution of marijuana tickets.
According to KOMO, the department was under fire last month when it was discovered that homeless people and African-American males were most likely to be cited for a marijuana offense.
The Seattle Times notes in the first half of the year, 37 percent of marijuana tickets went to black people, who account for only 8 percent of the city's population. It also says 41 percent of those given tickets lived in low-income housing or were homeless.
The officer in question has been assigned to non-patrol duties while he's being investigated.