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Texas bar owner Gabrielle Ellison and six armed men who were peacefully protesting were arrested for defying the state’s coronavirus shutdowns.
Ellison is the owner of Big Daddy Zane’s Bar in Odessa, Texas. She was arrested and charged with a misdemeanor violation of Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s statewide shutdown after reopening her business this week. She was later released on a $500 bond.
Six armed men who were friends of Ellison’s were also arrested while protesting the lockdown following a brief standoff with police. Ellison defended her friends, saying they were there to support and protect her.
“They were practicing their Second Amendment right to protect my First-Amendment rights,” Ellison told Fox 24. “They have absolutely no business being in this jail right now, no business at all. They had no business arresting me.”
Ellison said she should not have been forced to close her bar in the first place. “I should’ve never closed,” she said. “I should’ve never closed.”
(Source: Fox 24)
Texas has a population of 29 million. To date, Texas has recorded 884 deaths attributed to the coronavirus. Yet authorities have imposed the same restrictive lockdown on Texas as they have on COVID-19 epicenter New York State. Does that make sense?
A SWAT team was dispatched to arrest Gabrielle Ellison and her six friends for violating the lockdown and for allegedly carrying weapons in a prohibited place. A bystander who spoke out against the arrests was also arrested.
In response to backlash over the excessive show of force by using a SWAT team, Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis replied: “We’re not here to violate anybody’s rights. We’re just here to enforce the orders set forth by the governor and enforce the law.”
One of the protesters, Philip Archibald, said the Sheriff and the Governor are violating their Constitutional rights.
“I’m sorry that the Sheriff wants to paint us in this light as some group that wants to stop law enforcement from enforcing the law,” Archibald said. “But the fact is, there is no law that they are enforcing. They’re simply violating the Constitution and stepping all over everybody’s rights.”
David Turner, the mayor of Odessa, Texas, said both sides raised good points. Turner said Texans have a right to protest, but they should not have been armed.
“People have the right to protest,” Mayor Turner said. “I don’t agree with bringing guns out, even though I am very pro-Second Amendment.”
Jenny Cudd, a florist and Second-Amendment advocate, says the Second Amendment protects the people from tyrannical governments, which she believes the United States has descended into amid the one-size-fits-all lockdowns.
Cudd remarked: “After seeing what went down yesterday — with that SWAT tank and law enforcement coming in with their guns pulled pointed at these guys — and now they’re trying to charge them with a third-degree felony. If you don’t call that a tyrannical government, I don’t know what is.”
A SWAT team with GUNS DRAWN raided a peaceful protest at Big Daddy Zane’s in West Odessa, Texas.
The bar owner reopened because he says “all businesses are essential.”
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) May 5, 2020
Ector County Sheriff's Office
The power of flatulence.
— Charles X Proxy™ (@Charlemagne0814) May 6, 2020
Elsewhere in Texas, a Dallas salon owner was thrown in jail for refusing to apologize to a local judge for reopening her shop.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton reacted by demanding Shelley Luther’s “immediate release,” saying jailing moms for wanting to feed their children is an outrageous abuse of power.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) May 7, 2020
Flashback: In April, an Idaho mom was arrested for taking her children to a playground in defiance of a statewide lockdown. The mom was forced to issue a groveling public apology to avoid jail time.
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) April 27, 2020
UPDATE: Texas Governor Greg Abbott is “eliminating jail for violating an order, retroactive to April 2, superseding local orders. Criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.”
Throwing Texans in jail whose biz's shut down through no fault of their own is wrong.
I am eliminating jail for violating an order, retroactive to April 2, superseding local orders.
Criminals shouldn’t be released to prevent COVID-19 just to put business owners in their place.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) May 7, 2020
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