According to the SeattlePI, there is a pedestrian overpass over Seattle's Martin Luther King Way. Looking at Google Street View, it looks like one of the usual ones put up to make pedestrians climb two flights of stairs so that cars don't have to slow down. Nobody uses these things. On Monday, a certain officer Walsh noticed several people "unlawfully cross Martin Luther King Jr. Way South near the arterial's intersection with Rainier Avenue South. Rather than use a pedestrian overpass, the group wandered across the busy street -- one known for years of jaywalking problems."
So he tried to arrest them for this terrible crime, mayhem ensued, and a seventeen year old woman got punched in the face.
More specifically, the PI describes the incident:
Walsh stopped and ordered a 17-year-old girl to stop as she walked away from him. When she didn't, he tried to pull her back to the scene, and the jaywalking arrest took a violent turn.
Video shows Walsh, a four-year department veteran, wrestling with the girl in an attempt to place her under arrest. When another woman grabbed him, he punched her in the face.
Many people are saying that the officer was justified; others are calling it racist. But it all started with the "crime" of "unlawfully crossing the street" and how the city deals with "years of jaywalking problems"- by arresting people for not slogging up and down stairs so that cars can speed down the street.
The way you deal with jaywalking problems is not by making people climb stairs when there is a level road right in front of you with no fence to stop you. You don't arrest people for crossing a street. You put in a traffic light.
It is time to take back our streets from cars, get rid of jaywalking legislation and give pedestrians the right of way, instead of punching them in the face.