CNN’s top law enforcement analyst admitted Wednesday that advancing criminal justice reform is having a devastating impact on cities and driving up crime.
Philadelphia Police arrested dozens of people from late Tuesday to early Wednesday after large, organized groups of rioters – whom Interim Police Commissioner John Stanford described as “criminal opportunists” – terrorized the downtown area. A On the second night there was mass looting from Wednesday evening to Thursday morning.
According to John Miller, CNN’s senior law enforcement analyst, the situation in Philadelphia is a reflection of a larger problem affecting Democratic-controlled cities.
The problem, Miller said, is that looters are exploiting protests using “sophisticated communications networks” to organize mass crime. They are encouraged by ongoing criminal justice reform aimed at reducing penalties for property crimes, he said, suggesting that the “litmus test” for such reform would be to find out where organized property crime occurs.
“You see this kind of looting — I mean shoplifting and organized retail theft — in places like New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia,” he noted.
“If you look at where Target closed nine stores yesterday — four stores in San Francisco, stores in Seattle, stores in Portland, stores in New York — these are places where bail reform laws and criminal justice reform are the inside of a jail cell out of the equation,” Miller explained. “So shoplifting is a crime for which a judge cannot set bail.”
To support his point, Miller cited data from New York City.
“Think about it: There are just over 300 people in New York City who have arrested a total of 4,000 people; 70% of them are not in prison and they are responsible for 30% of all shoplifting in New York. That’s actually their job. “They go out every day to steal,” he said.
“And the number has increased significantly because they know that a prison sentence is no longer an option, because there are laws that say it is a no-bail offense, and because the prosecutor’s office has a policy that they don’t “I want people to be taken into custody for what they’ve done. We call them non-violent crimes,” he explained.
The end result of such criminal justice reform policies, Miller said, is that criminals realize that it’s “like shopping without money.”
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