Michigan Sheriffs Rise Up Against Democrat Gov, Refuse to Enforce Whitmer's Order
Group of top law enforcement officials say they will not enforce strict stay-at-home order
A group of Michigan sheriffs has risen up against their Democrat governor, declaring they will not strictly enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s draconian stay-at-home order.
On Wednesday, Sheriffs from four different MI counties announced they are refusing to fully enforce Gov. Whitmer’s social-distancing restrictions that have been slammed by critics for going too far.
Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich, Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel, Manistee County Sheriff Ken Falk, and Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole made their position clear in a joint press release.
“While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority,” the group said.
“She has created a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens,” the sheriffs added, according to Michigan Live.
Instead of stringent enforcement, they “will deal with every case as an individual situation and apply common sense,” the sheriffs asserted.
They added that they had taken an oath to protect the “God-given rights” of the Michigan and U.S. constitutions, according to Fox News.
“We believe that we are the last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties,” the release stated.
The sheriffs noted that their focus should be on reopening their counties and getting people back to work, but added that CDC guidelines such as social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks should be followed.
Whitmer enacted a stay-at-home order on March 24.
It was originally set to expire on April 13 before being extended to April 30.
Over the weekend Whitmer announced an expansion of her order, which among other things prohibits residents from visiting family or friends with the exception of providing care, bans public or private gatherings of any size or family ties, and places restrictions on what essential businesses which remain open may sell.
Whitmer – who had to issue clarifications to her orders, most notably when someone tweeted a picture from Walmart saying that children’s car seats were “non-essential” items – has so far remained steady in her resolve that Michigan needs to stick to strict stay-at-home measures in order to tackle the virus.
In a protest dubbed “Operation Gridlock,” hundreds of cars and trucks descended on Michigan’s state capital Wednesday in noisy protest, creating bumper-to-bumper traffic throughout downtown Lansing.
Demonstrators blasted their horns, waved Americans flags and hoisted placards deriding Whitmer’s orders and demanding that she reopen the state’s economy.
“Let’s start with the fact that some counties have no or very few COVID cases and yet are totally shut down,” Rosanne Ponkowski, president of the Michigan Conservative Coalition, which organized the protest, said in a statement.
“When did a one-size solution solve everyone’s local issues? Governor Whitmer will put you out of business before allowing mere citizens to be responsible for their own behavior. That is madness.”
Michiganders have also accused Whitmer of neglecting their interests while attempting to curry favor with presumptive Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden.
The former vice president has signaled he is considering bringing her on as his running mate.
“Her priorities are no longer the residents of Michigan but her possible position as V.P. for Biden,” wrote Patricia Duncan.
Biden brought Whitmer onto his podcast on April 6, in which he praised her for the job she is doing in Michigan.
Michigan has the fourth-largest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the United States, with more 27,000 being reported as of Wednesday evening, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.