Earlier today, KIRO's Brandi Kruse broke the news that Officer Randy Jokela, the Seattle police officer best known for issuing 80 percent of the city's tickets for smoking pot in public, was back on bike patrol after being initially benched on desk duty during an investigation of his questionable ticket writing practices by the Office of Professional Accountability (OPA).
The tickets, punishable by $55 in fines, were handed out disproportionally to poor people and people of color, according to a recently released city report.
BREAKING: @KIRORadio has learned @SeattlePD Officer Randy Jokela is back on patrol after pot ticket debacle. pic.twitter.com/dGFNFrKe8k
— Brandi Kruse (@BrandiKruse) August 18, 2014
While SPD spokesman Sean Whitcomb declined to name Jokela specifically, citing the OPA's ongoing investigation, he seemed to confirm that Jokela has reapplied his BodyGlide™ and resumed normal bike patrol duties in the West Precinct, which encompasses downtown and Pioneer Square.
"Chief O'Toole conferred with OPA director Pierce Murphy and together they decided that there wasn't anything to preclude this employee from resuming normal patrol duties while the OPA investigation continued," Whitcomb stated. (Another department source confirmed that Jokela is indeed back on patrol.)
OPA investigations generally take six months to complete.