A Seattle police officer has been reassigned after the department discovered he'd written 66 of the city's 83 public smoking tickets during the first half of 2014.
Department sources told The Seattle Times that the officer was Randy Jokela, who has served as an officer since 1990 and recently worked as a bike officer in the precinct covering Seattle. Jokela is accused of several instances of being unprofessional and generally a jerk — during one arrest he made two suspects flip a coin to decide who would get written up, according to one ticket, which read: "(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe."
On several tickets he requested the attention of pro-pot City Attorney Peter Holmes, called Petey in some instances. In a statement released Wednesday, Holmes wrote, "I am personally very sorry that apparently a significant number of homeless individuals were inconvenienced by an officer's apparent attempt to get at me."
The report that brought attention to Jokela's actions also showed that black men and homeless men received a disproportionate number of tickets — 46 percent of the 83 pot tickets went to people who said they lived in homeless shelters. Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said the department is investigating the matter. In the meantime, Jokela has been reassigned and will be referred to the Office of Personal Accountability.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.