California sheriffs, police departments are refusing to enforce Newsom’s new “mandatory” mask order

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SACRAMENTO COUNTY, CA.-  While governors such as Gavin Newsom let terror groups like Antifa and Black Lives Matter run roughshod, unabated across their states, they continue to implement measures that some call draconian as coronavirus cases have rebounded as states open up.

On Friday, California broke a record for the number of cases in a single day, according to KTLA.

That same day, Newsom issued a new mandate that is ordering state residents to wear masks inside public spaces and in situations where six feet of social distance cannot be maintained.

However, at least five sheriff’s departments are fighting back, saying that they will not enforce the order, while citing the minor nature of the offense or lack of sufficient resources.

The sheriff’s offices which announced their refusal to enforce the order are those in Orange, Sacramento, Tulare, Fresno, and Calaveras counties.

In Orange County, sheriff Don Barnes said:

“It is each person’s responsibility to wear a face covering and follow other recommended safeguards in order to stop the spread of COVID-19; it is not law enforcement’s responsibility to enforce it.”

In Sacramento, the sheriff’s office suggested that people should be “exercising safe practices,” including the wearing of masks, but said it was “inappropriate” to criminally enforce the governor’s order, or go after people or businesses who refuse to do so, according to the Sacramento Bee.  

“Due to the minor nature of the offense, the potential for negative outcomes during enforcement encounters, and anticipating the various ways in which the order may be violated, it would be inappropriate for deputies to criminally enforce the governor’s mandate,” Sheriff Scott Jones said in a statement.

Rather Jones said, deputies will be working in more of “an educational capacity,” which the office has maintained as an enforcement stance over the executive orders for months with regard to social distancing protocols, despite health orders locally and statewide coming down in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Jones said that sheriff’s office employees will comply with the order “to the extent feasible.”

As of Friday, Sacramento County had recorded 1,976 lab-positive cases of COVID-19, with 67 deaths. More than 475 cases and 22 deaths have taken place in unincorporated county areas of the county where Sacramento sheriff’s deputies routinely patrol.

Other Sacramento area agencies have also said that they will not enforce the order, including the Sacramento Police department, which said in a released statement that their “primary focus would be education,” spokesman Karl Chan said.

Placer County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Angela Musallam said that office will not enforce Newsom’s order either.

“We do hope [people] will take the rule to heart, but we have no interest in arresting or penalizing people who aren’t wearing masks in any way,” she said.

The office will be directing residents who have concerns about either businesses or groups that are out of compliance to Newsom’s office.

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The Placerville Police Department notified residents in a Facebook post on Thursday just after Newsom’s order that they were requested not to contact the police department to report violations of the mask order and to “use common sense and keep yourself safe.”

“This is not a police issue,” the department wrote.

Likewise, the Roseville Police Department said that they too would not enforce Newsom’s order.

“No law enforcement agency wants to be responsible for shutting down a gathering or citing people who are out of compliance” the department said in a Facebook post Thursday.

“If the need arises, we’ll work with our partners in Placer County Health and Human Services and City of Roseville Code Enforcement to ensure everyone understands the requirements and is working toward compliance.”

Yolo County officials said they would only act against non-compliant businesses, and not individuals. The county has had its own mask requirement in place since the end of April. They noted that their priority is education to get people to comply with the mask directive.

“The regular person on the street is likely not going to be given a citation,” said county spokeswoman Jenny Tan. “Businesses must make a good faith effort. When someone comes into a business or restaurant or gym, they have to say, ‘Hey please wear a face covering.’”

Aside from law enforcement officials, some cities and towns are also balking at enforcing the order. For example, the mayor of Nevada City intimated that Newsom’s order was not  legitimate.

Saturday morning, Mayor Reinette Senum said that Newsom’s orders could not be enforced by law and no action can legally be taken against offenders.

 

“As you go about your day today, KNOW there is NO LAW that Orders you to Wear a Mask. Our Governor does NOT have that unilateral power to make such orders,” Senum said.

“Ask your local Police chief or officers. They will not, and cannot, cite ANYBODY for not wearing a mask because the law does not exist.”

Senum continued, “When you come across Newsom’s ‘orders’ online, you will see it’s linked to a page that does not lead you to his Executive Order, BUT to the California Department of Public Health GUIDELINES!,” SHE SAID.

“Again, NOBODY can be forced to wear a mask outside, in a business, or as an employee or customer.”

It appears that not only have people had enough of subjective enforcement, but so have police and sheriff’s departments.


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