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California DA Wants Police to Consider if Looters ‘Needed’ the Items They Stole Before Prosecuting Them

Apparently looting is okay, as long as you 'really needed' what you stole.


George Soros supported DA Diana Becton, who is in her first term as District Attorney, has made sweeping changes in how the office is now run, including how aggressively cases have been prosecuted, and how crimes are charged.

One very big change making news deals with how ‘looters’ are being charged.

According to new documents, Contra Costa County DA’s Office Internal Guidance calls for the consideration of whether looters needed goods before filing charges against them.

Red State has more on the new document leak:

Becton, the Contra Costa County DA, is already putting “racial equity-minded policies” in place and enforcing them in her office. The following “Looting Guidelines” document was provided to RedState by a confidential source and verified as authentic by a separate source familiar with the office’s policies.

In California, a looting charge essentially increases the severity of a burglary or theft charge if it occurred during a State of Emergency.

According to Shouse California Law Group:

Under Penal Code 463 PC, California law defines “looting” as taking advantage of a state of emergency to commit burglary, grand theft or petty theft. Looting charges can be filed as a misdemeanor or a felony and is punishable by up to 3 years in jail.

Even without any State of Emergency declared after the Black Lives Matter riots started in various California counties, the entire state has been under that declaration since March 4, 2020, when Gov. Newsom instituted a State of Emergency over coronavirus.

In any event, Becton’s charging guidelines for looting read:

Theft Offenses Committed During State of Emergency (PC 463)

In order to promote consistent and equitable filing practices the follow[ing] analysis is to be applied when giving consideration to filing of PC 463 (Looting):

1. Was this theft offense substantially motivated by the state of emergency, or simply a theft offense which occurred contemporaneous to the declared state of emergency?

a. Factors to consider in making this determination:

i. Was the target business open or closed to the public during the state of emergency?
ii. What was the manner and means by which the suspect gained entry to the business?
iii. What was the nature/quantity/value of the goods targeted?
iv. Was the theft committed for financial gain or personal need?
v. Is there an articulable reason why another statute wouldn’t adequately address the particular incident?

So, let’s get this straight. Deputy District Attorneys and/or the county’s law enforcement officers are supposed to go through a flow chart, including a psychological and financial analysis, to determine if looting charges should be filed?

Here's the looting guidelines document.

So how do we determine which of these groups of people needed the clothes more?

Should police arrest whoever walked away with the least amount of clothing?

Of course, this isn't too surprising considering Becton's recent history as DA.

Earlier this month, she made the controversial decision not to charge any suspects accused of resisting arrest or violence against police officers until after seeing body cam footage.

Some called this a politically motivated move, that aims to protect those who assault police officers, while hanging the officers out to dry.

The Mercury News has that story:

The Contra Costa District Attorney is now requiring that prosecutors review all available body camera footage and seek supervisor approval before filing a charge of resisting or attacking police, a policy shift that came days after the office dropped a controversial resisting-arrest case following the publication of body camera footage.

The policy change, announced through an internal memo acquired by this newspaper, says moving forward prosecutors “must review all available and material body worn camera footage” and have a supervisor sign off when reviewing “allegations of force, threats or violence against a law enforcement officer or when reviewing allegations of resisting, delaying or obstructing a law enforcement officer.”

Venus Johnson, who serves as Chief Deputy of the Contra Costa DA’s office under DA Diana Becton, said in an interview last week that the new policy helps ensure charging decisions are made “solely based on the evidence that is before us.” It was not based on one specific instance but a “culmination of things,” she said.

“Especially in the climate that we find ourselves in, we just want to make sure before these types of cases are filed that there’s a second set of eyes to make sure we’re covering our bases,” Johnson said, later adding, “Obviously these are sensitive and serious cases, both on the law enforcement side and citizen and community side.”

Some in law enforcement, though, have interpreted the new requirement as a roundabout way to dissuade county prosecutors from charging cases with police victims. Shawn Welch, a Contra Costa Sheriff’s sergeant and president of the agency’s police union, called it a “political choice” that protects those who attack law enforcement officers.

“No matter your profession, if you are a victim of a crime you deserve justice,” Welch said in an email.  “(Becton) is extremely biased against law enforcement and should step down or attend procedural justice training.”

Only in California...


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