Some of the same mainly Democrat-led localities that are responding to the coronavirus pandemic by shutting down businesses and thus depriving their own constituents of the right to earn a living are, conversely, loosening criminal laws and thus affording crooks and hoodlums the ability to rob and steal with temporary immunity.
Take Philadelphia, a Democrat-led city where all “non-essential businesses,” including bars and restaurants, have been ordered closed since Monday. Thanks to Democrat Mayor James Kenney, henceforth servers, waiters, bartenders, dishwashers, cooks, etc., are simply out of luck. But such is not the case for local criminals.
“Philadelphia Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw has instructed the department to immediately halt arrests for a slew of low-level criminal offenses — including all narcotics activity,” local station WHYY confirmed Tuesday.
“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.”
Due to the coronavirus crisis, Philadelphia police will no longer be making arrests for all narcotics offenses, theft from persons, retail theft, theft from auto, burglary, vandalism, bench warrants, stolen autos, economic crimes such as passing bad checks, fraud, & prostitution. pic.twitter.com/R2OZSPMKHO
— Rob O’Donnell (@odonnell_r) March 17, 2020
According to WHYY, this means local criminals will temporarily granted the capability to commit crime without facing arrest, as the actual arrest will be carried out “at a later date — presumably once the COVID-19 outbreak is under control.”
FYI, it could take months before the coronavirus pandemic is resolved, according to U.S. President Donald Trump …
JUST IN: Pres. Trump says guidelines to combat coronavirus outbreak could last until July or August, if not longer. https://t.co/1TBAL8cn2G pic.twitter.com/XTSBDibhsJ
— ABC News (@ABC) March 16, 2020
The only potential good news is that a provision within Outlaw’s memo allows an officer to petition his/her supervisor to arrest the suspect anyway, though there are no guarantees.
“If an officer believes that releasing the offender would pose a threat to public safety, the officer will notify a supervisor, who will review the totality of the circumstances and utilize discretion, in the interest of public safety, in determining the appropriate course of action,” the provision reportedly reads.
As it stands, Philadelphia’s crime rate consistently ranks above the national average and has, in fact, climbed even higher ever since District Attorney Larry Krasner, a Democrat, assumed office in early 2018.
US Atty William McSwain on Philadelphia crime rate after a Soros-backed DA won: “Homicides and shootings have skyrocketed, worst kinds of violent crime have gone up…mid-level crimes have also gone up but they aren’t being reported…DA has said he’s not going to prosecute them” pic.twitter.com/S1a3pZyqaN
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) August 15, 2019
Incidentally, Krasner reportedly supports Outlaw’s unprecedented policy move. He released a statement Monday defending the provisions on the basis that those who commit “commit truly serious offenses” still face a “risk” of being arrested and held accountable …
“I want to be clear: People who do violence and commit truly serious offenses risk being charged and held in custody,” he said. “You do not want to be in any jail or prison right now, and I suggest that this warning ought to affect people’s decision-making and behaviors beyond this public health emergency.”
It’s unclear whether desperate law-abiding citizens who violate the city’s business ban will also be granted such leniency.
When asked on Monday whether business owners and workers could face arrest for not complying, all City Managing Director Brian Abernathy was willing to say was, “I can’t imagine we’ll get to that point.”
This suggests arrests could be in store.
The ongoing debate over the coronavirus crisis closely mirrors the ongoing debate over gun rights. Second Amendment supporters argue that restricting the rights of gun owners does nothing to stem the illegal use of guns to commit crimes. If anything, such bans hurt law-abiding citizens by preventing them from defending themselves from law-breaking armed criminals.
Similarly, opponents of the business bans being instituted across the country are fervent in their belief that these bans will do little to limit the spread of the coronavirus while simultaneously engendering mass suffering and devastation.
“We can only be certain that shutting down virtually every part of society will result in a large number of people economically ruined, life savings depleted, decades of work building a restaurant or some other small business destroyed,” renowned conservative commentator Dennis Prager has pointed out.
“As if that were not bad enough, the ancillary effects would include increased depression and divorce and other personal tragedies. The effects of closing schools for weeks or months will include family chaos, vast numbers of bored young people, health care providers who will have to stay home and more. Yet young people are the least likely people to become ill from the virus.”
“We can only be certain that shutting down virtually every part of society will result in a large number of people economically ruined…Economic disasters rarely remain only economic disasters.” – @dennisprager discusses the #CoronavirusOutbreak https://t.co/wZFD5dqETa
— PragerU (@prageru) March 17, 2020
Yet in light of Philadelphia’s tacit endorsement of “low-level crime,” this argument seems to hold even more weight, for not only are law-abiding, hard-working Americans being denied the right to earn an income, but law-breaking, ruthless criminals are being granted the right to commit crime with temporary immunity.
Something about that this doesn’t sit well — nor should it sit well with anyone who prioritizes common sense and reason over the fear-mongering rhetoric of know-it-all eggheads.
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