The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

$197 Ticket for Jay-Walking

May 11, 2015

A Los Angeles cop gave a ticket to Eduardo Lopez for stepping into a crosswalk after the red hand started flashing. The ticket was for $197. Eduardo is a student, works to support himself, his family and his siblings who live in a tough South Los Angeles neighborhood.

“A resident videotaped Eduardo getting the ticket, and in that video, a man in a business suit walks across the same intersection just one second ahead of Eduardo, committing the same infraction. The cop zooms past the businessman to single out Eduardo,” according to the Los Angeles Times. So, if you look or belong to the upper-class, you will be treated differently.

The base fine for Eduardo’s violation is $25, according to the California Vehicle Code. But, it does not end there. Surcharges and penalties for things like court construction, a DNA identification fund, emergency medical services, and other fees add on the base fine. Courts also get their cut. These additional fees are distributed among the City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles County and the State of California.

If you make a mistake of stepping into a crosswalk a little bit late and look like a working class person, all types of state and city agencies jump on you demanding their share of the loot. After the dust settles, you may feel thankful that you have not yet lost your shirt, pants and other items in due course.

The City of Los Angeles gave more than 17,000 such tickets in four years to pedestrians in the downtown area.