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California governor rejects decriminalizing jaywalking

GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM
Posted at 12:16 PM, Oct 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-10 15:16:51-04

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Gavin Newsom is rejecting an effort to decriminalize jaywalking.

He vetoed the bill Friday despite supporters framing the issue as a social justice reform.

Democratic Assemblyman Phil Ting says the crime is arbitrarily enforced, most often against people of color.

It has sometimes led to deadly confrontations with police.

Ting says low-income neighborhoods and communities of color are more likely to lack sidewalks and have longer distances between crosswalks.

Newsom said he will work with lawmakers to find legislation that addresses the unequal enforcement of jaywalking laws in a manner that does not risk worsening California’s pedestrian safety.

Virginia was the first state to decriminalize jaywalking.