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Philly.com- Nearly two months after two black men were arrested at a Center City Starbucks while waiting for a friend, the Philadelphia Police Department on Friday announced a policy to determine when to arrest people accused of trespassing on private property.

The new policy encourages “greater discretion” from officers, who are now encouraged to deescalate disputes. It also requires them to request a supervisor and establishes that the offender must understand that they are not allowed on the property, and that the officer must witness the person’s refusing to leave before making an arrest.

Officers are not allowed to arrest someone if the owner or authorized person did not personally communicate that the offender was unwelcome, or if the owner or authorized person refuses to file a trespassing complaint.

“The new policy provides officers with guidance on how to respond to calls about trespassing on private business properties that are open to the public,” said Police Commissioner Richard Ross. “This allows police to take actions, with the help of their supervisor, that are most appropriate in each individual case.”

 

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