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Thursday, March 19, 2020

COVID-19 Policing: Arrests Without Jail, Crimes Without Charges

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the police commissioner has ordered police officers in cases of larceny, burglary, prostitution, auto theft, vandalism, and certain "economic crimes" not to arrest the suspects. Instead, officers are to stop and identify the suspect, gather evidence of the crime, and file a report. Moreover, officers are no longer going to enforce bench warrants against suspects who fail to show up for court. In other words, in Philadelphia, until the COVID-19 situation is under control, 90 percent of street policing has been put on hold. While turning a blind-eye to crime may help slow down the spread of the virus, it will hasten the spread of criminal activity. In the city of Philadelphia, germs have replaced criminals as the bad guys.

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