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Living on the edge

In what I could barely believe to be happening, I nearly collected my first jay-walking ticket today. While crossing a not-so-busy street in Redmond to make it to a meeting, one of Redmond’s finest halted me in my tracks.

“Whoa, what do you think you’re doing?”

I had a reply ready, “Crossing the street.”

As did he, “You can’t do that, it’s illegal to cross the street. It’s not safe.” I should point out here that he was saying this while holding up a big red stop sign in the road for oncoming traffic to allow a construction vehicle to maneuver.

I neglected to tell him this, figuring that he already knew what he was doing. Instead I asked him to clarify a statement I found odd. “Excuse me, did you say it was illegal to cross the street?” If this were true, I would be in a lot of trouble to make it to my first meeting of the day.

“Excuse me? What did you say? Say that again!” The Officer was now daring me. I declined to get into a pissing match with an angry man with a gun who had nothing better to do than stop traffic for large trucks but not people.

“I was just asking where it was legal to cross the street,” I surrendered.

Welcome to Washington State. Here you can be involved in a gang war, run the border, grow pot, cook meth, or just invent your own kind of crime. One would think that with far less cops here than for New York City (probably a comparison that many states can make) there would be better things to do than prevent jaywalking. But no. That’s crime that’s worth fighting.

{ 2 } Comments

  1. sarahsouth | September 6, 2008 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    mind yourself now… there are only so many times i’ll be willing to keep bailing you out of jail

  2. tari | October 3, 2008 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    I just got pulled over here in Berkeley a week ago for running a red light on my bike. There were no moving cars anywhere in sight at the time. After harassing me for nearly 10 minutes, the officer (who had been parked w/ lights off next to the intersection, waiting to bring down the hammer on a passing cyclist) made a big deal about “letting me off with a warning” and drove off. Goddamn pigs, man. Are you going to come down to the Bay area sometime this fall?

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