Washington State’s Unhoused Residents Receive Close to Half of Jaywalking Tickets

A report com­mis­sioned by the Choic­es found that peo­ple received a dis­pro­por­tion­ate per­cent­age of jay­walk­ing in state, Greg Kim in The Seat­tle Times.

Peo­ple expe­ri­enc­ing received at least 41 per­cent of jay­walk­ing fines in the state, despite mak­ing up just 0.4 per­cent of the pop­u­la­tion. “The jay­walk­ing report found that peo­ple of col­or are also dis­pro­por­tion­ate­ly stopped for jay­walk­ing. Black peo­ple receive a fifth of jay­walk­ing tick­ets giv­en in the state, despite mak­ing up 4% of the pop­u­la­tion.”

A pro­posed bill to decrim­i­nal­ize jay­walk­ing failed to head­way in the state leg­is­la­ture. Mean­while, police con­tin­ue to use jay­walk­ing enforce­ment as a way to stop peo­ple they deem sus­pi­cious. “Sara Rankin, a home­less­ness law expert at Seat­tle Uni­ver­si­ty, said that when home­less peo­ple are issued fines, it increas­es the like­li­hood of them stay­ing home­less. Ignor­ing fines can turn into a mis­de­meanor over time, mak­ing it more to get a job, or it can make some­one inel­i­gi­ble for , hous­ing or oth­er ben­e­fits.”

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