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Police officer banned from patrol after single-handedly issuing 80 per cent of marijuana tickets in Seattle

The Seattle Police Department announced on Wednesday the reassignment of an officer who single-handedly issued about 80 per cent of the marijuana tickets handed out in the city - of which 36 per cent were given to African-Americans - during the first half of this year.

Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O'Toole said staff reviewing data to prepare the department's first biannual report on marijuana enforcement found that 66 of 83 citations for public pot use were given out by just one officer.

The move comes following a six-month report from the department which showed that African Americans in Seattle were ticketed disproportionately to their population for using pot in public.

 
A Seattle cop has been reassigned by the department after internal data found that he single-handedly issued 66 of the 83 citations for public pot use in the city from January to June, and 36 percent of those were given to African-Americans (Stock image)

A Seattle cop has been reassigned by the department after internal data found that he single-handedly issued 66 of the 83 citations for public pot use in the city from January to June, and 36 percent of those were given to African-Americans (Stock image)

 

The police department said 36 perc ent of the tickets were issued to African-Americans, who make up just eight percent of the city's population.

Approximately 46 per cent of those ticketed told police they lived in a homeless shelter, transitional housing or had addresses associated with homeless services.

'In some instances, the officer added notes to the tickets,' O'Toole said in a statement, adding that some of the notes requested the attention of City Attorney Peter Holmes and were addressed to 'Petey Holmes.'

In one case, she said, 'the officer indicated he flipped a coin when contemplating which subject to cite.'

In another, O'Toole added, he referred to Washington's voter-approved changes to marijuana laws as 'silly.'

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