About six weeks after Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw announced the wrong-headed policy that Philadelphia cops would not arrest and take into custody suspects in low-level crimes, it has been reversed.
Want to guess why? Because the low-level criminals knew there would be no consequences and they starting running wild, shoplifting with impunity. If you look at videos posted by 6 ABC, it wasn’t shoplifting, it was plain shopping.
A gang of youths walk in, help themselves to merchandise on the shelves and walk out, knowing the manager could not stop them and even if cops arrived, all they could was take names (from people not carrying ID), and promise a court hearing in the future.
Yes, you can laugh your ass off.
As always, honesty and fairness rule here. There are two reasons Outlaw wanted the policy.
First, to protect her officers from possibly being infected by the COVID-19 virus. I am 100% in favor of that, but . . . . As Police Commissioner Sylvester Johnson used to say, on any given day a cop might have to give a life, save a life, or take a life. I am not being cavalier when I say they know they might have to give their life.
They should be equipped with the best possible gear when they have to lay hands on a suspect, which is dangerous even without the disease. Cops ought to be tested when they report to work each day, and given the finest medical attention should they get sick. Hazard pay for street cops, too.
Outlaw’s second thought was that “low-level” inmates were being released from prison — another policy generated by highly-educated idiots unable to foresee the likely outcome — higher crime rates. It’s as plain as the nose on your face, but the fancy pants social scientists never even mention that possibility. (Pity poor New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, who was so disappointed to find released criminals were committing fresh crimes. This is a result of liberal thought that often is dominated by wishful thinking.)
The prisoners were being released because it was thought jails are breeding ground for the virus. That is true. So are nursing homes and even hospitals.
What you do with the convicts is keep them in jail until they get sick, and then transfer them to a prison hospital, or even a civilian one. Let me make this formula clear: Wait for the convict to get sick, then treat him or her. Do not release them. Is that clear?
Finally, we are presented with the problem of prosecution-averse D.A. Larry Krasner, who long before the pandemic decided there were a bunch of low-level and nonviolent crimes his office would not prosecute.
Under shoplifting, I believe the first $400 is free, but I could not find a clear statement from the D.A. How would you like to own a bodega, knowing the grifters could steal $400 per visit before the D.A. gives a crap? That kills into your profit margin, but the social justice warriors probably regard you as a capitalist exploiter of the people. Even before this, many CVS stores put Advil and some other popular meds in locked cabinets because of shoplifting.
As for non-violent crimes, Krasner includes drug dealing. Non-violent? How many of our homicides are drug-related?
Maybe not many in Wonderland, but this is Philadelphia with an enterprising criminal class. We have police to hold the line and now, thanks to sanity, they have been unleashed.