As was reported in The Stranger earlier today, 63 of the 83 marijuana tickets written up this year—a $55 fine for smoking pot in public—have been issued by a single Seattle police officer. And now the Seattle Times has identified that officer as none other than Randy Jokela, one of the few officers who treated me unprofessionally during all my coverage of the Occupy Seattle demonstrations. Here’s what I wrote on Slog back in November of 2011:
To be clear, most of my interactions with Seattle police officers during the Occupy Seattle protests have been friendly, respectful, and professional, but last night… not so much.
When I asked an officer what his scary looking riot gun shot, he repeatedly responded “flowers.” Ha, ha. And every time I struggled to get a close up shot of a gun (rain on the lens was fucking with my autofocus), another clown-cop, the appropriately named Officer Jokela kept jumping in the way, striking what he thought were comical poses.
… So far, Seattle has escaped the worst kind of police abuses we’ve seen in NYC, Oakland and elsewhere … but there are certainly some bad apples on the force who are just itching to lash out, and who seem to disturbingly enjoy their opportunities to do just that; it’s something their commanding officers and more responsible colleagues might want to keep an eye on…
Elsewhere in the comment threads on Slog, eyewitnesses also identified Jokela as the officer who gratuitously mocked a Coast Guard veteran after he’d been pepper-sprayed. Officer Jokela is clearly a bad apple with a history of treating the public disrespectfully. And it’s hard to imagine his commanding officers weren’t aware.
Perhaps if the SPD took such minor transgressions by their officers a little more seriously, they might head off the major transgressions before they occur?
Perhaps giving Jokela co-officer of the year for the west precinct in 2005 created a monster ?
Roger Rabbit spews:
This guy clearly has some personal agendas. Plus he’s arrogant. Time to confiscate his badge and gun.
Looks like he’s Harley Quinn’s dad or something.
This is regarding the article http://horsesass.org/bikes-on-3rd/ (which does not have a comment form):
The article claims that bikes are not allowed on 3rd Ave during commute hours. In fact, bikes are explicitly allowed on 3rd Ave at all hours; the restriction is only for cars (if you look at the signage, it says “Buses and bikes only” during commute hours).
Could you please amend your article to correct the error? Thank you.
@4 Um, really? Off-topic. And the post you link to doesn’t say what you think it says: “otherwise bus only”
Dan Robinson spews:
RT_Com is reporting that this guy has been reassigned http://rt.com/usa/177072-seatt.....a-tickets/
Are you picking up some change by working for RT, Goldy? (heh)
Deja Dennis Falk all over again…
robin o! spews:
i don’t see how not bowing down to some schlep from “the stranger”, while he was busy doing his job, makes officer jokela in the wrong. i am a civilian & downtown seattle resident. i have raised my grammar school aged kids in this city. i have known officer jokela for 14 years now & i am well aware of what an outstanding job he does, daily. he’s fair & always has the public interest in mind. when i moved here from l.a., 14 years ago, i did not like cops, at all. officer jokela & his bike cop crew changed my mind about cops, simply by doing their jobs & keeping our streets safe. this overblown incident about tickets for weed (oh wow, 60+ tickets over 6 months? the horror), perhaps he was trying to draw attention to a situation that was being glossed over by conventional means of “protest”. don’t judge people that you *nothing* about. my kids & i have the deepest respect for officer jokela & all the bike cops of downtown seattle. he has done more positive things for the community, by doing his job, than any other public servant i can think of.
Steve Liebig spews:
@8 The tit-for-tat disparagement undercuts your credibility. Eliminate the “some schlep from the Stranger” comment and you make a more compelling statement.
Officer Jokela is a hero who deserves praise and awards unlike the idiot Pete pothead Holmes.