H/T Arizona Central.
I am happy to hear some sheriffs have the backbone to say we will not enforce these dictatorial stay at home orders.
Two Arizona county sheriffs, one on the western edge of the state and another just south of Phoenix, say they won’t enforce the stay-at-home order imposed by Gov. Doug Ducey in part because they think it is unconstitutional.
The sheriffs, Doug Schuster of Mohave County, tucked along the Colorado River, and Mark Lamb of Pinal County, made their comments separately. But Schuster said in a Friday phone interview that he had spoken with Lamb about their mutual feelings regarding the governor’s order.
Both said they would speak to residents violating the order. But neither would arrest anyone for not obeying.
Still, Schuster didn’t expect a free-for-all in his county, which includes tourist-laden Lake Havasu City.
“We’ll get compliance,” Schuster said. “These businesses are not looking to butt heads with law enforcement or the state.”
In an emailed statement, the governor’s office said that any violations of the order would risk “penalties previously outlined.” The statement said the office had been communicating with law enforcement agencies and expected continued cooperation.
‘300 deaths is not a significant enough number’
Lamb said it had already been the unstated policy of the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office to not arrest anybody for violating the order. The preference, he said, was to talk to people about compliance, not jail them.
But a television station in Phoenix asked Lamb to address Ducey’s comments as he announced the extension of his stay-at-home order. Ducey, in response to a question about bars and restaurants that might re-open in defiance of his order, mentioned a jail term, a fine and the possible loss of a liquor license.
Asked about that by KSAZ-TV, Channel 10, on Thursday, Lamb told the station he didn’t wish to arrest anybody.
Lamb said during an interview with The Republic on Friday that he felt he had no choice but to make his unstated policy a stated one.
“I think people want to know that we’re going to support their constitutional rights,” he said. “I felt (Ducey) pushed me into a position where I needed to make our stance clear.”
Lamb said he thought the governor had no right to deprive people of their livelihood or pursuit of happiness. He said he would welcome joining a legal challenge to Ducey’s orders.
Lamb said he also thought, as a policy measure the steps to slow the virus’s spread had gone on long enough.
“The numbers don’t justify the actions anymore,” he said. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy.”
As of Friday, the state health department had reported 330 deaths caused by COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
Lamb said that he called a few sheriffs Thursday to let them know what he was about to say on television so they could brace for similar questions.
That’s why he spoke with Schuster, who expressed similar reservations about enforcing the order.
Social distance in Mohave County
Schuster first expressed his thoughts about Ducey’s executive order during a Thursday afternoon meeting of the Mohave County Board of Supervisors. He also posted them on his Facebook page on Friday.
The words made waves, especially the part about Schuster not wanting his agency to be the “social distancing police.”