Austin police chief is angry that people are angry about police misbehavior

[Video Link] Ted Balaker, creator of the Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do? video reports, says:

Cops across America really don’t want you to jaywalk. In San Diego they doled out 328 tickets (on a single day!), in New York they bloodied an 84-year-old who crossed against a red light, and in Austin they jailed a jaywalking jogger.

Austinites responded to the incident with outrage, and Chief Art Acevedo reacted to their outrage with outrage of his own. “In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty,” said Acevedo. "So I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy in Austin, Texas!”

And sure, jaywalkers in LA get stuck with $200 tickets, and entrepreneur Peter Shankman’s offense of jogging in New York’s Central Park before 6:00 a.m. could cost him as much as a thousand bucks, but it’s important to remember that jaywalking crackdowns are all about keeping pedestrians safe. They definitely have nothing to do with raising revenue.

Notable Replies

  1. Fun fact: When they legislated marijuana to be the lowest level priority for law enforcement in Seattle, the police responded by aggressively enforcing jay-walking laws.

  2. So, They are using the the ol' "at least we're not raping anyone" defense. Classy.

  3. FWIW, the Austin jogger case is in a pretty busy area with lots of student pedestrians and traffic. She seems to have crossed 24th street in the middle of a block, where the nearest traffick light would have been less than 70 feet away.

    For a little perspective about pedestrians in the area, this YouTube classic is from a block around the corner from her arrest (two years ago):

  4. Kimmo says:

    Let's not forget the 'crime' of jaywalking is all about infringing your freedom in a public place for the sake of the automobile lobby.

    I agree it's an offence if somebody blindly strays into the way, but IMO a ticket and fine is a pretty piss-poor way to solve such a problem.

    +1 Blown away by the sheer class of the 'at least not raping' defence.

  5. The person was arrested for not following police instructions when she was asked to stop by the police so they could talk to her (not ticket her, not arrest her). She refused to talk to them (instead shouted and waved around her arms wildly) which led to them asking for ID which she also refused. When they went in to arrest her (for refusing to identify, not jaywalking) she went limp. I am not one of those people who blindly support the police but they didn't do anything wrong in this incident. They were issuing warnings in the area after several deaths of pedestrians being hit by vehicles along that stretch in the past weeks.

    Art Acevedo has been very communicative with the public since become police chief and apologized for his statement. He is working with the community to find new solutions to the area's DWI problem which I applaud. I honestly believe he is one of the good guys.

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