A Seattle Police officer punches a 17-year-old girl after stopping a group of teenagers for jaywalking.
The video at the bottom of the post makes it pretty clear that the teenagers were resisting arrest – and while punching a teenage girl was probably ill-advised – the officer certainly had a right to take action (in fact, he deserves credit for not using a taser or pepper spray). But the bigger question here is why we’re still trying to ticket people for jaywalking:
Criminalizing something as common and useful as jaywalking—criminalizing an environmental positive like jaywalking—invites selective enforcement and civil-rights abuses. I’m not saying that yesterday’s unpleasantness is a clear-cut case of police brutality, although that punch-to-the-face was pretty brutal. All I’m saying—besides “jaywalking: good”—is that yesterday’s unpleasantness could have been avoided if the cops hadn’t have stopped those girls in the first place.