Local jurisdictions pushing back against Gov Newsom’s oppressive COVID restrictions grow

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Three California sheriffs triggered a growing rebellion Thursday by vowing to not enforce the dictatorial coronavirus lockdown edicts of Gov. Gavin Newsom.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones, and El Dorado County Sheriff John D’Agostini all issued statements expressing opposition to some or all of Newsom’s latest coronavirus mandates.

On Monday, the governor issued a new lockdown order shuttering most businesses across the state. Three days later, he added a 5:00 am to 10:00 pm curfew slated to remain in effect for an entire month.

All this comes on the heels of his administration imposing severe restrictions on California residents’ Thanksgiving plans.

On Thursday, Barnes’, Jones’ and D’Agostini’s respective departments all fired back with statements making clear their refusal to enforce Newsom’s orders.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office

“El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office deputies will not be determining compliance with, or enforcing the compliance of, any health order related to this curfew. The Sheriff’s Office will not prevent Thanksgiving activities, maximum occupancies, or mask wearing mandates at social gatherings within the County of El Dorado. Calls received by The Sheriff’s Office regarding enforcement of any COVID related orders will be referred to the El Dorado County Department of Public Health at 530-621-6100.”

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office

“The Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office will not be determining—including entering any home or business—compliance with, or enforcing compliance of, any health or emergency orders related to curfews, staying at home, Thanksgiving or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates. Further, we will not dispatch officers for these purposes—callers will be advised to call 3-1-1 and be routed to County Health. Of course, if there is potential criminal behavior or the potential for impacts to public or personal safety we will continue to respond appropriately.”

Orange County Sheriff’s Office

“At this time, due to the need to have deputies available for emergency calls for service, deputies will not be responding to requests for face-coverings or social gatherings-only enforcement.”

After the three sheriffs spoke out, other authorities began following suit to some disagree, with some promising to focus more-so on education vs enforcement, and others saying straight-up that they won’t be bothering local residents.

“The Stockton Police Department said in a statement Thursday that it will continue to take an ‘education first approach with regards to public health orders.’ … In a statement Thursday, the Sacramento Police Department said it will take an educational approach to enforcing the public health orders, like it has since the beginning of the pandemic,” station KCRA reported.

“The Roseville Police Department released a statement Thursday after getting several questions about the department’s plan to enforce the curfew. ‘We’ll continue to focusing our efforts on education and compliance. At this time, the Roseville Police Department will not dispatch officers to incidents where a caller is reporting a violation of this new order,’ the statement said.”

Meanwhile, the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Office promised outright that they’ll “not come to your home, question you or your guests or pull you over for driving during the curfew.”

And Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said during a news briefing Friday that she refuses to “make criminals [out] of normally law abiding citizens.”

Over in Los Angeles County, Sheriff Alex Villanueva has vowed to enforce Newsom’s orders but do so in what he seems to believe is a fair and kind way by persuading (or threatening?) people to voluntarily comply.

“If we get a complaint, we will obviously investigate. We’ll contact the [violator] and ask them to comply and if they don’t, we have the option of doing a citation. We can also prepare a criminal report for violating a health order and we’ll turn it over to the department of public health and let them decide what to do with it,” he reportedly said.

“We have a lot of options and pretty much on the voluntary compliance side, we get most of our success. If we start scratching paper, there’s consequences that need to follow from that and we don’t want to get to that point.”

What remains unclear is how authorities in Napa County intend to handle the governor’s orders. It’s highly relevant because it was in Napa County where an unmasked Newsom attended a crowded birthday party with other families in a “closed-off room” earlier this month.

Perhaps in a fair and just world, Newsom himself would be arrested first to set a “positive” example …

Vivek Saxena

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