Is murder still a crime, though? Philly introduces catch-and-release for looters & drug dealers until coronavirus crisis ends
The city’s (perhaps aptly named) Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw ordered the dramatic policy change on Tuesday, detailed in a memo leaked to local media outlets. Starting on March 17, officers were instructed to only briefly detain those caught committing a laundry list of non-violent offenses, ranging from car and retail theft – which would cover looting – burglary, possession and distribution of narcotics, fraud, vandalism and prostitution, among others.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, Philadelphia police will no longer be making arrests for all narcotics offenses, theft from persons, retail theft, theft from auto, burglary, vandalism, bench warrants, stolen autos, economic crimes such as passing bad checks, fraud, & prostitution. pic.twitter.com/R2OZSPMKHO— Rob O'Donnell (@odonnell_r) March 17, 2020
After verifying a suspect’s identity, officers were ordered to release the offender and submit all relevant paperwork to the department’s detective division, which will pursue arrest warrants sometime after the pandemic scare dies down – at least that’s the plan.
A number of netizens saw the move as an open invitation to looters to start filling their pockets, with some wondering what other crimes might be allowed to slide as police are directed to look the other way.
Is murder still a crime or is that ok too?I wouldn’t want to be on Chicago or Baltimore right now. Since when do police officers get to use the Coronavirus to not do their job.— Chugga (@ChuggaCorp) March 17, 2020
Does that include bank robbery just asking for a friend— Shari650 (@shari650) March 18, 2020
So basically a free pass to loot?— Right Winger (@PushMeRight) March 18, 2020
Government imposed anarchy, that's new.— Scott Berg (@cutshot49) March 17, 2020
Others interpreted the change in procedure as an object lesson on the need for the Second Amendment, with many encouraging their fellow commenters to find a way to defend themselves in the event of a crime wave.
That right there is why you own guns.— Joseph Quintiliani (@joequintiliani) March 17, 2020
Some took a wholly different approach to the news, however, planning out mock crime sprees while the opportunity presents itself.
brb, gotta go steal a car and buy some hookers and blow with bad checks— David Gaw (@davidgaw) March 17, 2020
Aaaargh, I'm banned from your country. Could have scored big time.— #Herdimmunity (@MARXCOLLECTIVE1) March 17, 2020
In Los Angeles, meanwhile, city officials have directed police to cite and release offenders whenever possible in an effort to make room in its already crowded jails and stem the spread of the virus, while New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is now contemplating whether to release non-violent inmates for similar reasons, a plan backed by the city’s Board of Correction.Also on rt.com Iran has now temporarily sent home 85,000 inmates over coronavirus fears
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