ATTN POLICE: Enough Already with the Jaywalking Stings! Don't Cops Have Better Things To Do?

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.

Just over 3 minutes.

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"Don't Cops Have Better Things to Do?" is written and directed by Ted Balaker (@tedbalaker). Produced and edited by Matt Edwards (@MattChrisEd). Music by and "The Contessa" is by Maurice and the Beejays (Magnatune Records).

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  • Andrew S.||

    What, you expect them to do things like go after violent criminals? That costs money. This stuff, like drug stings, brings in money.

  • WTF||

    Also, violent criminals are dangerous. Don't you want our heroes to go home safely at the end of their shift? After all, that's what matters most.

  • perlhaqr||

    This. Yes, the cops have better things to do, but those better things are also hard, so clearly, in the absence of any particular incentive to focus on the hard things over the easy things, they're going to pick the easy things.

  • UnCivilServant||

    They do have nothing to do with raising revenue, it's about conditioning the plebs to OBEY. The revenue doesn't hurt...

  • sarcasmic||

    Yep. What do all the people busted in that video have in common? They didn't obey.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Nice video. Totally following @dontcops.

  • gaoxiaen||

    Looking at the size of their guts, I think it should be called @donutcops.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Broken Windows Theory of Law Enforcement!
    Why, if you let these thugs and hoodlums cross the street in the middle of the block, the next thing you know, they'll be tossing their candy wrappers on then ground. After that, it's only a matter of time 'til you're dealing with murder and mayhem on an industrial scale.

  • UnCivilServant||

    it's only a matter of time 'til you're dealing with murder and mayhem on an industrial scale.

    Murder as a cottage industry is so outdated. Shouldn't it be updated to the modern era. I propose an eMurder innovation drive.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    Finally a use for assault weapons that spray from the hip at the rate of 30 caliber magazines per half-second!

  • ||

    Chief Art Acevedo reacted to their outrage with outrage of his own

    No wonder he made chief: he's willing to work hard at impression management and (re)framing of issues. His middle name ought to be "Postmodern".

  • Rhywun||

    I heard in my neighborhood (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) they're giving out fake "tickets" with the punishment being you will walk to the nearest corner and cross legally. I'm not much of a jaywalker anyway but if the choice comes down to not jaywalking, or getting a police beatdown after expressing my rage at being treated like a child by one of these clowns... I will choose the former.

  • l0b0t||

    NYC has no law against j-walking. Or, more accurately, crossing the street at any place other than the intersection is NOT against the law in NYC provided one crosses perpendicular to the roadway. Crossing the street at an angle is the only pedestrian violation that comes close to j-walking.

  • Rhywun||

    The Administrative Code of New York City includes a section that requires pedestrians to cross only at crosswalks. It’s Title 34, Section 4-04, Subsection (b) of the New York City Administrative Code:

    (1) No pedestrian shall enter or cross a roadway at any point where signs, fences, barriers, or other devices are erected to prohibit or restrict such crossing or entry.

    (2) No pedestrian shall cross any roadway at an intersection except within a cross- walk.

  • BillEverman||

    I'm not sure those words mean what you think they mean. I would understand (1) to mean that you can't cross if there's something specifically posted (sign)or erected (fence) telling you you can't cross, and (2) says that you can't cross AT AN INTERSECTION unless there's a crosswalk. Says nothing about "jaywalking" across the street in the middle of a block if there's no signage telling you can't. Seems to me it's safer to cross in the middle of the block anyway, especially if there's no crosswalk, since you only have to watch traffic coming from one or two directions instead of as many as four.

  • Rhywun||

    Cool. I will helpfully point out these arguments to the nice policeman if I get stopped jaywalking someday.

  • l0b0t||

    I doubt the NYPD has time or manpower enough to issue tickets for something that is not an offense but hey, there's a new sheriff mayor in town so who knows. I am, however, just over in the Rockaways; if you DO get a jaywalking ticket from the NYPD, come on out and I will buy you a drink.

  • Kevin47||

    That seems like a pretty reasonable request, actually. You can't get mad at cops for going crazy on a jogger and leveling fines, but then complain you are being treated like a child when they impose a more frivolous penalty.

  • OneOut||

    These cops in Austin were just looking for a little underboob peek.

  • Karl B.||

    I wish they would enforce it where (and only where) it matters. There's a route I take occasionally where a jaywalker gets killed every 6 months or so, usually within 10 yards of a crosswalk.

    I rarely drive that route without seeing at least one jaywalker. Locals know to watch out for them, but it's a route frequented by out-of-town visitors as well. I've almost hit one myself on a few occasions, and on other occasions would have hit one if I happened to change lanes at the wrong moment.

    The laws exist for good purpose. I just wish enforcement would be limited to that purpose.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    And I learned that jaywalking in the middle of a block is safer than crossing at intersection crosswalks, because you have half a block of warning when some Porsche decides to test his cornering ability.

    NO jaywalking law passes a libertarian ethics test. NONE. If I get hit jaywalking, it's either because I jumped out in front of a car or because the driver was going too fast for his sight distance. It is nobody else's business.

  • DenverJay||

    Kind of depends on where you are at. In most of the country I agree. But in busy pedestrian areas not so much, unless you are willing to absolve me of blame for running over pedestrians. I have seen dozens of people crossing against the light, and tying up traffic. One person does it, then other people, seeing him, figure it must be OK, and the next thing you know, you have dozens of people in the crosswalk, and the cars can't go, missing their turn, or worse, getting stuck in the intersection when the light changes. In places where there is are large numbers of pedestrians, they are part of traffic, and need to obey traffic laws, just like everybody else.

  • BillEverman||

    I think that's the distinction between "jaywalking" defined as crossing in the middle of the block, and "jaywalking" defined as crossing against the light.

  • Carolynp||

    I vote for the absolving more drivers of blame for running over pedestrians (this includes the frivolous lawsuits that follows). There should be a moron penalty that includes maiming or death when people are too foolish to consider a vehicle in the road.

  • I. B. McGinty||

    There is a spot near where I live just like that - people run out in heavy traffic to hit up the liquor store instead of using the cross walk 50 feet away.

    I saw one guy get run over a couple of years ago. He didn't make it. That wasn't something I needed to see, but it reinforced my personal belief that if I get hit in the crosswalk at least I can sue someone.

  • Carolynp||

    A bum walked out in front of my friend's son's car in a 50 mph zone. Poor kid killed him, and the family sued them. Even though there were plethora witnesses who all said it was entirely the bum's fault, the judge made the kid write an apology note and they settled out of court. Amend your personal belief that you can sue no matter what.

  • Will4Freedom||

    Why is called "J Walking"? And not "I" walking or even "I B Walking". But I digress.

    That may have been fine in the OLD days when you only had to dodge a few horses, but in the interest of public safety, you must only cross at designated spots, and only when told.

    If you can't handle that, they'll have to create a department of cross walks filled with qualified .Top.Men/Women. (union of course) who will watch out for you by making you conform.

  • ||

    Too bad no one from PoliceOne come here to offer their insights.

    Would just love to hear it.

  • SugarFree||

    I can channel Tulpa, if you like.

    "The law is the law if you don't like the law then you can vote to change the law but you anarchists don't vote so shut up and do as you're told you scum."

  • sarcasmic||

    Pretty much.

  • WTF||

    That sounds like you're channeling rollo to me.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Rollo would be the ER doc who sees the mayhem of jaywalking every day.

  • ||

    Pedestrians are very aggressive here, I can't even imagine a cop yelling after somebody for jaywalking let alone issuing a citation.

  • entropy_factor||

    Police are getting worse in the US, but I'm kind of torn on the Austin case. Where she was jogging, there have been fatal pedestrian incidents. It's a main drag through town, across from UT.

    Austin is full of self-righteous pricks, and this girl was no different judging by her behavior. I don't think jaywalking is a crackdown item here in ATX (I do it almost daily). Her behavior after a simple stop (before the handcuffs came out) was what escalated the situation, no doubt.

  • Carolynp||

    That was my analysis, also. Probably a liberal who is pro-regulation and anti-enforcement. I advocate more arrests. If there are no consequences for idiotic votes, there will continue to be idiotic voters.

  • ||

    The bad guys must watch all this and laugh.

    That story about the old Chinese man still angers me.

    Bunch of clowns those cops.

    And so is this reticent police chief with his false equivalence bull shit.

  • Cdr Lytton||

    Local cops run those every so often around here. Funny, they never seem to do it outside the county building where the sheriff's deputies jaywalk to their cars on the other side even thought it's a main drag.

  • Dread Pirate Roberts||

    I got a jaywalking ticket once in the People's Republic of Berkeley. The cop was awfully displeased when I suggested that it was a shakedown.

  • Boogens||

    Here in Philly, jaywalking is ubiquitous and ignored. Definitely a culture shock when I went to Westwood section of L.A. years ago. They were doling out jaywalking tickets left and right.

  • gaoxiaen||

    I was in Philly last winter at a place with no onvious crosswalk and there was a cop nearby. I asked if it was okay to cross the street here and he laughed and said, "This isn't New York".

  • gaoxiaen||


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