BALTIMORE (WJZ) — 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.
“There is no public safety value, and never really was any public safety value, in prosecuting these low-level offenses,” Mosby said.READ MORE: BWI Airport Sees Flight Delays Due To Thunderstorms
“It is wholly counterproductive to continue to prioritize low-level offenses over violent crime,” she told council members.
Mosby touts that violent crime and drug arrests have dropped since the policy was implemented over a year ago, allowing the city to focus on more serious crimes, including drug distribution.
She said one of the most important factors for making the policy permanent was the fact that low-level offenses are being discriminately enforced against Black and Brown people.READ MORE: Maryland Weather: A Cold Front Sweeps In As Severe Thunderstorm Watch Ends
“When we criminalize offenses that have nothing to do with public safety, we expose people to needless interaction with law enforcement, that for Black people in the country, can often lead to a death sentence,” Mosby said.
The city will now look at lesser offenses as public health issues and will connect people with help through Baltimore Crisis Response Incorporated instead of putting them behind bars.
“It’s time for us as a city to reimagine policing and redefine public safety,” Mosby said.
Mosby also said that the mayor’s office is now exploring how to divert 911 calls for these minor offenses to get help for people.MORE NEWS: Waterfront Partnership Of Baltimore Offers Free Exercise Classes Along Inner Harbor
The policy is also facing criticism from the Baltimore City Fraternal Order of Police.