Austin: Where Crossing the Street Can Get You Cuffed and Detained

The above video shows Austin Police arresting jogger Amand Jo Stephen for jaywalking. It has been viewed more than 350,000 times since it was uploaded to YouTube last Thursday.

A 25-year-old jogger was arrested in an Austin Police sting on jaywalkers. Image: KXAN Austin
25-year-old jogger Amanda Jo Stephen was arrested in an Austin Police sting on jaywalkers. Image: KXAN Austin

Stephen, 25, was arrested after she failed to produce identification, police say. She was handcuffed and pushed into a police car screaming, “I didn’t do anything wrong.”

The incident is raising questions about the Austin police’s ongoing pedestrian “sting.” A local news station reported Friday that the crackdown was planned to continue for weeks, despite the outcry over Stephen’s treatment.

“As a student and a mother, I feel like there are a lot of other issues in West Campus the police could be dealing with as opposed to jaywalking,” local Allie Westbrook told the news station.

Austin police chief Art Acevedo scored another PR coup by saying that Stephen’s treatment was no big deal because, unlike in other cities, his cops don’t sexually assault detainees.

Meanwhile, police in other cities are taking a more productive approach to traffic enforcement. Miami cops recently conducted an operation in which they handed out 73 summonses to drivers failing to yield the right-of-way to pedestrians at a single intersection.

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