Remember the Seattle police officer who was found to be responsible for 80% of the city’s pot arrests last August? That individual, Randy Jokela, is now under official investigation by the department’s Office of Professional Accountability. In a briefing to the City Council earlier today, City Attorney Pete Holmes said he is moving to dismiss approximately 100 tickets issued by the Seattle Police Department between Jan. 1 and July 31. His office also said it would be seeking a refund for those who have already paid their $27 ticket.
As reported by KOMO News and a number of other local news outlets, in the first six months of the year, Jokela wrote 80 percent of the tickets for public marijuana use (36 percent were issued to African-Americans, who make up just eight percent of the city’s population). He addressed some of them to “Petey Holmes” and wrote that he considered the pot law “silly.” In one incident the officer found two people smoking marijuana and made them flip a coin to decide which person would be cited. On the ticket Jokela wrote “(Suspect) lost the coin flip so he got the ticket while the other person walked. (Suspect) was allowed to keep his pipe.”
Though Jokela was temporarily reassigned, he is unfortunately now back on patrol while the internal department investigation continues.