California Decriminalized Certain Crime Because ‘People of Color’ Are Ticketed Most
California has gone and done it again. Good ol’ California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a new bill into law that is just as ridiculous as every other law in the state.
Beginning on January 1 of next year, jaywalking will be decriminalized because it is unjust to “people of color”.
Here is a statement that was given by San Francisco Assemblyman Phil Ting:
“It should not be a criminal offense to safely cross the street. When expensive tickets and unnecessary confrontations with police impact only certain communities, it’s time to reconsider how we use our law enforcement resources and whether our jaywalking laws really do protect pedestrians. Plus, we should be encouraging people to get out of their cars and walk for health and environmental reasons.”
Okay, yeah, we should encourage people to walk. Let’s give him that for the sake of the argument. What is jaywalking again? Jaywalking is when you cross the street without regard to approaching traffic.
So, we should be encouraging them to walk out into the streets regardless of traffic thereby increasing their chances of getting hit by cars? That makes zero sense whatsoever.
Ting’s office added, “AB 2147 is Ting’s second attempt to decriminalize jaywalking in California, as he pursues fairness in the way fines are assessed and prevention of potentially escalating police stops. Jaywalking is arbitrarily enforced throughout California, with tickets disproportionately given to people of color and lower-income individuals who cannot afford tickets that can often total hundreds of dollars. When the law goes into effect on January 1, 2023, fewer working families will struggle to pay the costly citation, and police would not be able to use jaywalking as a pretext to detain someone.”
“All Californians will benefit from the Governor’s decision to sign AB 2147—the Freedom to Walk Act—into law. No longer will law enforcement be able to stop people who are safely crossing the street and burden them with citations and heaps of debt. For too long, our jaywalking laws were used as a pretext to stop and harass people, especially low-income people and people of color. The reforms enacted in AB 2147 will put an end to that and, in doing so, make all of California safer for pedestrians,” said Zal Shroff, Senior Staff Attorney at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area.
Heck, if we’re not wanting to burden people with citations and debt, let’s just do away with the entire justice system so that there are no tickets at all. Debt is bad, so let’s do away with all mortgages as well.
That’s not the way to eliminate crime. It’s not the way to acknowledge that there is a problem. So what if people of color are the ones who are most often ticketed? Could it be because they most often jaywalk?
What if we learn that it’s most often the case that people of color are jailed because of burglary? Are we just going to make burglary legal so as to not “offend” people of color by punishing for a crime that they committed?