Yesterday in Ector County Texas, police raided a protest held at Big Daddy’s Zane’s, a bar in West Odessa. There are certain restrictions as to which restaurants can open, and bars are subjected to a one-by-one litmus test based on the ratio of food to alcohol sales. The owner of this particular establishment, Gabrielle Ellison, said they had to open or go under. There was no choice in the matter. The penalty of losing her license is irrelevant if she lost her income first. So the local sheriff sent a SWAT team. Officers rounded up five individuals who looked as though they were standing some distance apart. This is in Texas. I called the Ector County Sheriff’s Office to get a statement on the matter and was told that the raid is considered an “ongoing investigation” and thus the Sheriff, Mike Griffis, would not comment. Is there something local media isn’t reporting — or did they inaccurately report this as social distancing and lockdown enforcement? Why is it necessary to respond with an armored vehicle with a manned gunner seat?
Over the weekend in New York, police enforced social distancing on a small group of people who went outside to enjoy the sunshine. The officers tried to disperse the group and two people resisted, resulting in an altercation. One of the officers in charge received a minor injury in the brawl, for which two people were arrested and one received an additional charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer. The main officer involved in this recorded brawl was recorded in the same video cursing at a bystander protesting the officer’s actions before grabbing the bystander, forcing him to the ground, and putting his knee on his neck. The officer is under investigation.
“It started out as a social distancing enforcement,” said Police Commissioner Dermot Shea. Shea noted that there are vastly more incidents where NYPD has broken up groups of people violating social distancing guidelines without having to issue them a citation or place them under arrest, which is apparently supposed to make what is on this vide more palatable. The actions of these officers are what those who extend zero grace to LEOs use when attempting to stain the good cops with the bad cops. The actions here are indefensible, full stop. These so-called “stay-at-home” orders are being enforced in some parts of the country as house arrest. In California, people who practiced “social distancing” and even those outside alone enjoying the sunshine were told to go home, because the stay-at-home order is essentially house arrest. Same thing in Chicago:
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot threatens people who leave their homes with jail (and told some nearby teens to go home).
YESTERDAY — North Dallas salon owner Shelley Luther, who told local media that she needed to reopen because she can no longer make her mortgage, was given seven days in jail for reopening her salon. Unless North Dallas officials are going to adequately pay this woman’s bills, feed her kids, pay her employees, AND eliminate the taxes she’d pay during this eminent domain of commerce, they should step back from this. It’s already over the line. A Dallas judge told Luther that she was “selfish” for wanting to pay her mortgage and feed her children (seriously, video in this thread). Thankfully, small businesses like salons are slated to reopen on Friday while practicing social distancing, masks, and sanitation procedures. Three days is an eternity though, for those salon owners struggling to pay all their bills due this new month. Here is a link to her GoFundMe.
Two undercover Texas police set up a sting to target two cosmetologists offering at-home services for nails and eyelashes. They arrested two women for violating the stay-at-home order, put them in prison stripes; now the women face 180 days in jail and/or a $2,000 fine. More than 1.3 millions Texans have filed for unemployment since mid-March.
The Police Benevolence Association of the City of New York stated online that they’ve had enough of enforcing the lockdown regulations drafted by city leaders they call “cowards.” The association blasted city lawmakers for demanding cops enforce regulations while these same lawmakers release criminals — including sex offenders.
I appreciate that these LEOs are calling out lawmakers for their poorly-written edicts, but I’m concerned that the anger seems solely focused on lawmakers treatment of police (throwing them under the bus) with no mention of citizens’s natural rights also thrown under the bus by lawmakers. Enforcement wants lawmakers to back them but really, they both need citizens to back them.
Bad law will inevitably lead to problems with enforcement because even good, reasonable people will resist the forfeiture of their constitutional rights. People all over the country had no problem with voluntarily staying at home to lower the chances of everyone becoming sick at once and overwhelming the system — but now with officials moving goalposts from “flattening the curve” to “when we have a vaccine” and small business owners threatened with criminal penalty if they reopen so as to pay their mortgage, people view this more as an issue of control, not one of health. Lawmakers have no one else to blame for this but themselves.
I’ve written about numerous incidents like the above these past couple of months. I’ll add this: conservatives have supported and appreciate the LEO community and everyone knows the saying “no one dislikes a bad cop like a good cop.” I tend to skip “frustrated” and fast-forward to “angry” whenever people conflate legitimate criticism of bad law and bad enforcement with respect for LEOs and rule of law. When it concerns justified criticism, no one is off limits and no where is this more important than in the arenas of policing and lawmaking. Lawmakers around the country have seized upon the fear and fog caused by our limited understanding of this virus and used it as an opportunity to test drive authoritarianism. It is un-American to try to shame good people from criticizing these facts. If we see more of this my concern is that it will threaten the relationship between conservatives and the law and order community. The left has salivated over such a prospect for years. While I would move heaven and earth to avoid satisfying their desire, I won’t sacrifice my rights for it, nor will I stay silent when an injustice is committed in the name of a “stay-at-home” order.