RIVERSIDE COUNTY, CA.- As we have been reporting, law enforcement officers are the ones who are being put squarely in the middle between power-mad governors and the American people, including business owners.
While governors sit at home in their multi-million dollar mansions, or send their families to Florida estates, it is law enforcement officials who are left to carry out what are often constitution-skirting emergency orders.
A sheriff in California just came down on the side of liberty by refusing to enforce stay-at-home mandates.
According to The Blaze, this past week Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco made it quite clear that if anyone enforces lockdown orders in California, it will not be his department.
In a speech before the county’s board of supervisors, Bianco pulled no punches.
“From the beginning, I told you that I would not be enforcing this stay-at-home order, partly because I trusted our residents’ ability to do the right thing without the fear of being arrested,” Bianco said.
“I knew that they could be trusted to act as responsible adults and I was correct.”
“Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights,” he continued.
“I believe Riverside County residents are responsible enough to proceed cautiously.”
Bianco made the point that the lockdown orders “eliminated constitutional freedoms over 200 years ago.”
“In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold,” he said.
Riverside County, located between Los Angeles and San Diego counties, has seen 2,000 of the 4,300 people who tested positive for COVID-19 recovered and returned to work, in a county that has a population of 2.5 million people.
“Unfortunately, we have lost 181 of our residents to this virus, but keep in mind that that is only seven-thousandths of 1 percent.
While the loss of any life is tragic, we must also be cognizant of the future and well-being of our county’s fiscal health and the ability to perform necessary functions.”
“The original projections and fears that caused these orders to be put into place have been proven wrong,” the sheriff said. “As leaders, we must adjust our decisions to better serve the county as a whole.”
When Bianco was done with his speech, many of those in attendance at the meeting clapped and cheered in agreement.
In an interview on Fox News on Friday, Bianco doubled-down on his statement from the meeting, saying he would not arrest anyone violating the orders because it is “time go get back opening up.”
“You just can’t arrest somebody for going out and exercising in public or not wearing a mask,” Bianco said.
Bianco dismissed the idea that the government believes they can close individual businesses, noting that every job is essential to somebody.
“They want me to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens that are, you know, trying to support a family. It doesn’t make sense anymore,” Bianco told Fox.
“At the same time, they are trying to force me to release real criminals from jail,” this in a state that recently released seven sex offenders in Orange County due to COVID-19 concerns. One of the inmates released was arrested just days later for exposing himself to a woman inside of a parole office.
Bianco said that he felt it was unnecessary for the government acting like “parents” of California residents while noting that previous COVID19 projected case numbers never were as high as originally projected.
Meanwhile, The Hill reported that in Washington State, stay-at-home protesters posted the personal information of those who had complained to the state about businesses violating stay-at-home orders on Facebook, as reported by the Seattle Times.
Over the past week, two Facebook pages posted names, emails and phone numbers of Washington residents who had submitted complaints against businesses which opened in violation of the state’s stay-at-home order.
Two groups, the Washington Three Percenters and Reopen Washington State, who have led protests against the order, posted the lists on their Facebook pages, which resulted in the names on those lists receiving threats.
A spokeswoman for the Washington Joint Information Center told The Hill that the information was most likely gained by filing public records requests. She noted that the complaint form indicated that it was subject to public disclosure and the state has made it clearer that the information is able to be submitted anonymously.
“Several individuals made public disclosure requests to the Washington Military Department for the complaints that have been filed to date,” Hodgson said, while adding that in excess of 25 requests have been filled related to violation submissions. “This list was likely generated and shared by one of those individuals.”
The Washington Three Percenters put links to a spreadsheet on their Facebook page, with the names and contact information of the business tattlers, with an added message that said, “Want to snitch on your neighbor? Don’t expect to hide behind your computer screen,” the Times said.
A leader of the group defended posting the information by saying that it was public information, while emphasizing that he did not condone any threats individuals had made to people on the list. He did note, however, that people who had reported businesses needed “to stand behind their word.”
One woman who had snitched on a businesses whose name was on the list stated that she wouldn’t have reported the business if she knew her name would become public. She said that she had received threatening phone messages.
One such message from a man said, “You got 48 hours to get the [expletive] out of Washington, or I am coming for you, and your loved ones.” Such messages are not helpful to people who are looking to get the country opened back up, and in fact does a disservice to the cause.
According to a spokeswoman from the office of the state attorney general, the posts may have been a violation of a state law against threatening or harassing people, however it would have to be “assessed on specific facts.”
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