Philadelphia police officers have been instructed to stop making arrests for what are considered to be “non-violent crimes” due to the coronavirus pandemic.
BREAKING: @phillypolice officers instructed to stop making arrests for following list of what are consider non-violent crimes. Here is the email sent to city police officers telling them to just obtain arrest warrants for now. @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/GYl13T67uK
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) March 17, 2020
An email sent to the city’s officers on Tuesday tells them to only temporarily detain individuals, confirm identification, and complete necessary paperwork. The individual will then be arrested at a later date on an arrest warrant.
The list of offenses now considered “non-violent” include burglary, narcotics offenses, prostitution, auto theft, vandalism, theft from persons, among others. (RELATED: These Are, Hands Down, The Best Responses We’ve Seen To Combat Coronavirus)
“We are supportive of Commissioner Outlaw’s directive on making arrests during the Coronavirus crisis. The directive was released to keep officers safe during this public-health crisis. Meanwhile, violent offenders will be arrested and processed with the guidance of a police supervisor,” Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #5 President John McNesby told Fox29 in a statement.
Users on Twitter compared the unprecedented halt to policing to the film “The Purge” and “Grand Theft Auto” video game.
GTA 6 about to start tonight in philly https://t.co/1YDbfCN442
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) March 17, 2020
Philly is really close to implementing a “Purge”
Burglary, auto theft, vandalism, “theft from persons” are “non violent” offenses now and you will not be arrested for them, well at least for now
They say they will “delay” the arresthttps://t.co/ueUGtDoRny
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) March 17, 2020
The move comes as the number of cases of coronavirus in America jumped more than 1,200 over the last 24 hours to go along with over 100 deaths.