A group of sheriffs say they won’t enforce governor California governor Gavin Newsom’s new slate of coronavirus measures, which includes an overnight curfew for high-risk counties.
One official, Fresno County sheriff Margaret Mims, said she refused to “make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens”.
“We are not going to make criminals out of normally law abiding citizens,” Ms Mims said on Thursday. “We’ve got a lot of things to do including taking guns away from gang members, stopping narcotic trafficking, and saving children from internet predators.”
She also cast doubt that night-time activities spread Covid, even though house parties and bars have been linked to outbreaks.
“The virus is spreading at a pace we haven’t seen since the start of this pandemic and the next several days and weeks will be critical to stop the surge. We are sounding the alarm,” he said, announcing the new restrictions. “It is crucial that we act to decrease transmission and slow hospitalizations before the death count surges. We’ve done it before and we must do it again.”
Other local sheriffs in Merced and King’s counties, plus Madera and Visalia, California say they also won’t directly enforce the curfew, according to KMPH, joining sheriffs in Northern California’s Sacramento and El Dorado counties who said the same.