Billy PENN: Philly police stop nonviolent arrests during CoVid 19 outbreak

An internal memo obtained by Billy Penn and WHYY states that crimes including theft, burglary, prostitution, stolen automobiles, vandalism, and certain economic crimes will no longer automatically result in detention. Police will also temporarily stop enforcing bench warrants to individuals who fail to show up for court. Effective Tuesday, arrests for these offenses will instead be “effectuated via arrest warrant,” according to Outlaw’s memo. That means officers may detain and identify a suspect in order to gather evidence, but the alleged offender will then be released. Officers will submit paperwork for the charges and, if approved by the city’s top prosecutor, District Attorney Larry Krasner, an arrest warrant will be issued at a later date — presumably once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control. Addressing concerns about law and order, Outlaw told press that the city was not “turning a blind eye to crime.”