A California district attorney has told her subordinates to consider whether looting was done “for financial gain or personal need” in deciding whether to prosecute a case, a local publication has reported.
The policy, which also requires prosecutors to consider four other factors, including whether the looted business was open or closed at the time, was instituted by Contra Costa District Attorney Diana Becton as a result of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, which began in March, her spokesman told EastCountyToday.net. However, the spokesman told snopes.com the policy has been in place since June.
It came to light this week after EastCountyToday.net reported that the mayor of Antioch, California, railed against the order.
“When I read the policy, it was disturbing,” Mayor Sean Wright said. “I understand the difference between protesting and looting. Peaceful protesting is OK, looting is not. For the district attorney to put out that kind of plan is irresponsible and where do you exactly draw the line on need because these are people’s businesses that are being impacted and livelihoods that are being destroyed.”