Police Union Prez on Officer Who Wrote 80 Percent of Pot Tickets: "He’s Just That Proactive."


This cop is great. I love seeing him around, doing whatever he can to make Pioneer Square look somewhat less like Chernobyl. It's not working, but I salute him doing his job like a champ.

-Person who actually lives in PS.
Hey! The cop (seems to have) made a mistake.
Reprimand him for excess zeal and give it a rest.

It is not an example of systemic racism - which you folks were hoping for -- but at very very worst ONE cop.

So of course if the Chief genuinely thinks his behavior was in fact racist -- rather than the cop's reacting to a bunch of thugs smoking dope on the street who in fact happen to be black -- then do whatever has to be done.

The Stranger censors your comment if you are a White person making a non-completely positive comment about a Black person. So me, who has a head of hair, I feel weird about saying something about this guy who is bald. I guess, "Best of luck to you, Officer".

keep it shallow and stupid to be accepted by the Slog Censors.
"It's not working, but I salute him doing his job like a champ."

You meant to be funny, right?
Did these people receive warnings first? Because that's a thing.
Those weren't mistakes. Officer Randall A. "Randy" Jokela #5453 repeatedly acted in violation of Seattle Police Department policy (issue warnings only) and of city ordinance (prioritize marijuana enforcement below everything else), taunting the city attorney in the process. He should be fired.
What we need are people like Phil M. letting Pioneer Square be Pioneer Square.

Please sign up to join the force.
Ron Smith, it's great to see somebody who isn't afraid to announce that they are a tool.
The racial disparity piece deserves to be investigated. Otherwise it sounds like the PD needs to get more officers writing tickets! Two sides to a story and this could warrant benefit of the doubt for the officer. Unfortunately with lack of transparency it's hard to trust the spokespeople in these situations that we are getting the whole story. Yet, perhaps we are.
Could have
So I guess there is no real crime to fight in Seattle?
I nearly get run over in the crosswalks at Greenlake and punched on University Ave on a daily basis. This is the nonsense SPD chooses to enforce instead. I want to the SPD identify the risks, and match enforcement to that. Tickets seem to just be a revenue machine.
@12 - Well ever since we elected Mayor Murray, downtown just feels so much safer.
@1, 8 and 10: You may want cops writing tickets for this, but the voters of Seattle have determined by strong margins that marijuana enforcement is the lowest priority for the police and that marijuana is legal. Yes, Pete made a stupid mistake with his ticket for public smoking move, but that does not override I-75.

The same officer who wrote all these tickets was one of the two most flagrant violators of the intent of I-75. What we have here is an officer who does like the laws passed by the citizens of the jurisdiction he both employed by and patrolling. He can either adjust his practice to the expressed wishes of his employers or find a different locale to work in.
Amazingly, SPOG President Ron Smith is ignorant of the way infractions are handled. Officers file the infractions (tickets) directly with Seattle Municipal Court. The City Attorney doesn't see them, even they are directed to the attention of "Petey."
I feel like this blog/magazine doesn't point out often enough what race-baitin, hypocritical, ignorant, fear-mongering tool Dori Monson is. I listen to the traffic report & the news on my way in to work often & every day on my lunch break I want to punch my stereo off.
F Pete Holmes who insisted on the pot tickets. And then brought pot to City Hall, a public place.
Hey Ansel and other posters, please stop adding emphasis to direct quotes. We readers are pretty good at finding the juicy bits without being told how to interpret them. If, after the quote, you want to point out specific phrases to make your point, go ahead. We all know this blog is more editorial than news, but adding emphasis to people's quotes insults them and your readers.
Pot tickets aren't the issue. Race isn't the issue. He shouldn't have been snarky. Big BUT, the areas where he wrote them are basically open air drug markets, and it's violent and unpredictable when some toothless methhead won't get out of your facee. I don't back up the officers methods but at least he's committed to the idea that these places can be cleaned up. He's using the pot tickets to harass losers who harass regular people, and that's ok with me. That's how it is, from the POV of me, who's tired of crackheads pissing in the apartment doorway.
Ha ha, 1 sounds like the worst. I used to live in Pioneer Square, too, and like, pot is not among any of the problems.

Re: being proactive -- BUT WHAT ABOUT THE COIN FLIPS???
@20: You're reaching. There's no overarching strategy being employed here to try and "harass losers" in order to clean up the area...he's just an asshole on a power trip. And anyway, what he's doing is precisely the opposite of how Seattle wants pot laws enforced. And he's wasting time, money and energy doing it.
@22, maybe you should read this 2004 piece about the Neighborhood Corrections Initiative that Jokela was involved with. The whole point was to target known offenders to keep them away from problem areas.

A few days after the early morning rounds, Joker and Burns were back patrolling Third Avenue and Pike Street on their bicycles. A young man said he was waiting on the corner while his girlfriend shopped "because I don't like shopping." But the officers had noticed him roaming around downtown all day, and a check on his corrections records found he'd violated the terms of his release by failing a drug test. They warned him to leave. He stuck around, so they took him to jail.

The man was upset. He'd gotten a job, he said. He'd been checking in with his probation officer every day.

Burns said it was true he hadn't seen him doing anything illegal. But hanging out downtown, Burns said, could only lead to trouble.

"I could just do nothing and just wait for you to do something and throw in you in jail," Burns told him. "But the only reason I'm on you is I want you to get it together.

"Dude, you really have to get it together."
@11: You forgot, "you illiterate twerp."

Pioneer Square is, at the best of times, a carnival show. So if one officer doesn't have any other issues taking up his time, that would make publicly smoking pot the highest priority infraction for him to deal with. I don't see the problem with this. But then I don't make it a habit to be the sort of entitled, inconsiderate shit that smokes in public (pot or otherwise), so maybe I don't have the proper perspective on this as others in this thread do.
@22: And what the hell does that have to do with this story?

The fact is we have an officer who: A) does not agree with policies and laws enacted by citizens of Seattle and unlike the vast majority of his fellow officers actively ignores the letter and intent of those policies/laws; B) is using his power as an officer in a silly and misguided effort to score political points and tweak the nose of an elected official who he doesn't like, and; has acted counter to established policy and practice for over a decade

This has nothing to do with NCI, DMI, hot spot policing, predictive policing, or any other anti-crime measure of SPD. The clearest evidence of that is that no other officer is doing what he did.
oops sorry...@25 was meant for ChefJoe @23, not schmacky, who I entirely agree with!

@25: I hope that ChefJoe was adding fuel to the fire of how outrageous Jokela is. That story makes me sick. Harassing a guy because they could.
Also, if it's so hard for officers to determine that force is reasonable and necessary, they should quit.

Seriously. If you can't make good snap judgements, you don't belong in a job where that's a requirement. Get out, and let us hire better cops.
Shaved head and a goatee - Never a good look.
Seriously, @23, if that was meant to be a retort to my post, you failed miserably. The guy had a new job and was trying to get his shit together, and now he has to deal with this asshole cop harassing him for no reason? Not helping your argument.
@16 is Pete Holmes press hack, so be wary of anything she has to say here. SPD is loaded with bad actors, but Holmes brought this shit storm on himself.

It's easy to blame the cop, but you need to look at the fact that Holmes insisted on the pot ticket legislation, knowing full well there would likely be disproportionate tickets issued, if any were issued at all. These tickets don't work for other public nuisance issues which is why the cops barely use them. You can put that right back on the CA too. This is an ongoing beef between SPD and the CA, so you have to wonder why Holmes created another ticket only good for potential race discrimination.
@2 And how many of these "ONE bad cop" stories do we have to hear before we accept there is a serious problem with the SPD. Every fuckin' month, it's another "ONE bad cop" beating the shit out of a non-white person, or just outright murdering them.
(No, we haven't forgotten that you're a cold-blooded murderer, Ian Birk!)

You gotta love people who swear "its not about race" whenever something obviously racist happens.

Lets all pretend the SPD doesnt have a well documented (DOJ report/numberous videos) and longstanding (back to the 60s) culture problem with black people and hispanics in the city.

Blacks being primarily targeted for crimes that whites are the majority of offenders (like drug crimes in Seattle)? Not about race.

[Also, for the record, I love how SPD supporters clammor on about crackheads, but the most utilized illicit drugs in Seattle are herione, coke and meth. Crack is all of 4% of illicit drug use, but the SPD focuses 60% of its enforcement on it. Gee, I wonder why? Could it be the skin color of the people using crack is 'darker' than those using the majority of drugs.


Cop gets caught on video beating two black suspects (who turned out to be the wrong guys) and admitting to 'making up' charges? Not about race.

Cops try to suppress video of a gaggle of officers stomping two latino men, hurling racist slurs? Not about race.

Cops still targeting blacks for a crime that the city attorney's office has said is the lowest of priorities? Not about race.

But every story on a crime where the offender ISNT white = Its about race and their 'culture of thug violence'

Gimme a break!
This sounds to me like a deliberate attempt to somehow shame/piss off/make fun of/other 2-year-old tricks directed at Pete Holmes. SPD is full of 2-year-olds with guns and attitudes.
Well before Jokela issued any of those citations, he should have thought to himself, "Somewhere, someone is crossing against the light, parking in a bicycle lane, or littering the gutter with a cigarette butt. I do not have time to investigate what I suspect to be the odor of burning cannabis, regardless of whether burning cannabis in public is lawful here. Police resources are scarce, and every minute I spend dealing with cannabis is a minute I should have instead dedicated to higher-priority matters."
Very crazy criminals?

Are we talking about the same 2nd Ave?
I like how the first two comments above are obviously from cops.
I thought the pot proponents and the voters had a deal: legalize cannabis for recreational use and we agree on no public use. Then a policeman writes a bunch of tickets to the scofflaws and he gets hammered by the politically correct city fathers (and one mother) as well as by all the anonymous commenters. My hunch is that the anti-officer commenters were the same proponents who lured voters into the deal to legalize pot.

So much for the deal you made.
Has anyone here spent much time in Pioneer Square or 3rd Pike/Pine recently? Just curious.