In a stunning document provided to RedState, Contra Costa County CA DA’s Office Internal Guidance calls for whether looters needed goods to be considered before filing PC 463.
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.
According to the internal document, Contra Costa DA Diana Becton’s guidelines call for various factors to be considered before applying the penal code including whether the theft offense was “motivated by the state of emergency,” “was the target business open or closed?” and “was the theft committed for financial gain or personal need?”
Here are the full guidelines:
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?
This took place in Becton’s district in May.
— Jose Carlos Fajardo (@jcfphotog) June 1, 2020
This too kplace in Southern California the same month:
Absolute Chaos along 4th street in Santa Monica… looting with impunity on both sides of the street. No police in sight. We’ve watched this happen to dozens of stores for 45 minutes now… pic.twitter.com/WOdEhIz3th
— Gadi Schwartz (@GadiNBC) May 31, 2020