Philadelphia, PA - Mayor Jim Kenney released the following statement regarding the Philadelphia Police Department’s issuance of Commissioner’s Memorandum #18-02, a policy for “Defiant Trespass.” This policy was created in response to an incident that occurred on April 12, 2018, which resulted in the arrest of Donte Robinson and Rashon Nelson at a local Starbucks.
“I’m pleased that the Philadelphia Police Department thoroughly reviewed its internal policies and created clearer guidance for police officers responding to calls related to trespassing on private business property that is open to the public." The new policy will allow police officers to use greater discretion in taking actions that are most appropriate for each individual case. This can lead to fewer arrests, and, most importantly, will ensure that our officers are not placed in untenable situations at the behest of retailers.
“I view this policy as another positive step as our City learns and grows from the Starbucks incident. My Administration also plans to propose legislation to make defiant trespassing a civil offense that can result in a fine rather than arrest, so that the penalty is more commensurate with the infraction. As I said at the time of the incident, pain can lead to progress, and this new policy is an important milestone on that journey.”