May 2, 2020 - Health

Philadelphia ends coronavirus leeway on nonviolent crime arrests

Philadelphia cops watching an airshow, while wearing face masks because of coronavirus

Photo: Bastiaan Slabbers/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The city of Philadelphia is ending its emergency coronavirus policy of letting police officers make case-by-case judgments on whether to arrest certain non-violent offenders.

Between the lines: "The city is facing an increase in retail thefts at small businesses already struggling to survive with the pandemic, the department said, and there has been a rise in burglaries committed by repeat offenders," the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.

What they're saying: "At the time of the change, the Department was clear in that the list of offenses was subject to review and revision as conditions continued to evolve," Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw said in a statement on Friday. 

  • "Predictably, conditions have, in fact, evolved in dynamic fashion. Accordingly, we have reviewed our current protocols and have made several adjustments."

Flashback: "Philadelphia police officers were instructed in March to stop making arrests for certain non-violent crimes. The department said individuals who would normally be arrested and processed at a detective division were temporarily detained to confirm identification and complete necessary paperwork. The individual was then be arrested on a warrant at a later date," Fox29 reports.

Go deeper