An unnamed Seattle police officer has been re-assigned following the revelation that he was single-handedly responsible for writing 66 of 83 citations for public marijuana consumption in Seattle since implementing legalization, according to Reuters.
A six-month study, released last week, also showed that African Americans in Seattle were ticketed disproportionately to their population for using pot in public, according to the the police department. 36 percent of the tickets were issued to African-Americans, who make up just eight percent of the city’s population.
“In some instances, the officer added notes to the tickets,” Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole said in a statement. Aside from the excessive ticket-writing, the police officer in question also took copious notes. Apparently he believed that some of the citations should be forwarded to City Attorney Peter Holmes, who he referred to as “Petey Holmes.” In one citation, “the officer indicated he flipped a coin when contemplating which subject to cite.” In another, O’Toole said, he referred to Washington’s voter-approved changes to marijuana laws as “silly.”
Washington state voted in 2012 to legalize the sale of marijuana over the counter for recreational use. It is still illegal to smoke pot in public, and people who are ticketed are subjected to a pricey $100 fine.
The police officer’s actions were reported to the police’s Office of Professional Accountability. O’Toole says he will not perform patrol duties while an investigation takes place. The six month study was designed to provide more oversight and to flag “anomalies or outliers” in Seattle’s marijuana enforcement.