Philly Police implements new policy on making arrests for defiant trespass

The policy comes in response to the controversial arrest of two black men at a Center City Starbucks.

Cherri Gregg
June 08, 2018 - 4:37 pm
Captain Sekou Kinbrew

Cherri Gregg | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- The Philadelphia Police Department now has a new policy that gives officers more discretion when making arrests for defiant trespass. The policy comes in response to the controversial arrest of two black men at a Center City Starbucks.

Under state law, a person can face a charge of defiant trespass if they remain on private property after being asked to leave or otherwise given notice that unauthorized visitors are prohibited.

"The officers now have more latitude in their decision making," said Captain Sekou Kinbrew.

Kinbrew says under the new policy officers now have discretion to make an arrest. They must first restore order, figure out what happened and then call a Crisis Intervention Trained officer to deescalate the situation, as well as a supervisor to decide whether the incident arises to a level of arrest.

"We can use some reasoning and sound judgment, get to the desired outcome, which is no one gets hurt, and that no real harm done in the sense of what is the harm if someone stays another hour."

Kinebrew says the new policy will protect officers from discipline from neglect of duty claims from property owners.