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Baltimore City State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby told City Council members Wednesday more about her office’s now permanent policy to no longer prosecute minor crimes like drug possession and prostitution.
RICK RITTER: Well, some big changes to who will be prosecuted in Baltimore City. Thanks for staying with WJZ. I'm Rick Ritter.
NICOLE BAKER: And I'm Nicole Baker. A few weeks ago, you may remember, we told you about the city state's attorney's office new permanent policy to no longer prosecute low-level, nonviolent crimes.
- And now, we are learning more about how and when this plan will be rolled out. WJZ live at 5:30. Stetson Miller breaks it all down for us. Stetson?
STETSON MILLER: Rick, the policy comes after a year long experiment of not prosecuting minor offenses. States Attorney Marilyn Mosby says, this has now resulted in a reduction in violent crime and frees up resources down to focus on people who pose a risk to public safety.
MARILYN MOSBY: There is no public safety value and never really was any public safety value in prosecuting these low level offenses.
- Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby told city council members more today about her office's now permanent policy to no longer prosecute minor crimes, like drug possession and prostitution.
- It is wholly counterproductive to continue to prioritize low level offenses over violent crime.
- Mosby touts that violent crime and drug arrests have dropped since the policy was implemented over a year ago, allowing the city to focus more on serious crimes, including drug distribution. She said, today, one of the most important factors are making the policy permanent was the fact that low level offenses are being discriminately enforced against black and brown people.
- When we criminalize these minor offenses that have nothing to do with public safety, we expose people to needless interaction with law enforcement that for black people in this country can often lead to a death sentence.
- The city will now look at lesser offenses as public health issues and will connect people with help through Baltimore Crisis Response Inc. instead of putting them behind bars.
- It is time for us as a city to reimagine policing and redefine public safety.
- Mosby, also, said today that the mayor's office is now exploring how to divert calls for these minor offenses to help them get help for people. Now, this policy is facing criticism, as well, from the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police. We're live at City Hall. Stetson Miller for WJZ.