In a June viral video, a young black man named Devonte Shipman captured his interaction with police officers in Jacksonville, Florida, as they dealt him two tickets with hefty fines: one for jaywalking, and another for walking without an ID. (Which, to be clear, is not an actual law for pedestrians.) It raised the question: How often does this happen? And how often do these citations fall along the lines of race and poverty?
Like most of you I was surprised by this incident but I assumed it was a freak occurence. After reading the latest investigation, by ProPublica reporter Topher Sanders and Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conarck... I had to think twice about giving people advice to walk in their neighborhood for exercise, without warning them about the 28 Florida Statues for pedestrians. After they analyzed five years of pedestrian citation data from Duval County, They found that walking in Jacksonville can come at a high price if you are black, brown or poor.
Here is their latest investigation,
If you’re living in the city’s three poorest zip codes, you’re nearly six times more likely to receive a pedestrian citation. And if you’re black or brown, you’re nearly three times more likely to receive a pedestrian violation than white people. Police cite safety as the goal of these efforts, but urban planning experts agree that citations are simply not an effective way to change behavior or bring down pedestrian deaths. For that, you’d need to rethink Jacksonville’s infrastructure — one that’s sorely lacking safe options for pedestrians.
But I can help but think it's another way to get around the controversial "stop in frisk" which police used to randomly stop people without any cause.... unless you count being black, brown or poor as cause. Please share this.... knowing the 28 Florida Statues for pedestrians and how they are being used....you need to know. :-)
What are your thoughts?