A few sheriffs in California are coming out publicly to say they will not be enforcing some of the new lockdown orders Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has imposed with the holiday season in full swing.
Newsom, who was recently caught attending a private party with multiple people at a high-end restaurant, issued a "limited" stay-at-home order for most of the state, which also includes a curfew from 10:00 p.m.-6:00 a.m. Newsom said the lockdowns are necessary because of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases.
"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," Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement.
"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," said Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones.
In response to much social uncertainty & numerous inquiries, I wanted to clarify the position of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Office relative to existing health orders, as well as any potential impending orders at the County or State level. Click for more. https://t.co/9hIzp3zW6A pic.twitter.com/iG7C31ZhYN— Sacramento Sheriff (@sacsheriff) November 19, 2020
"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. I would like to wish everyone a happy and meaningful Thanksgiving Holiday," Jones added.
"We are not going to make criminals out of normally law-abiding citizens," Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims said, according to ABC 30. "We have got our hands full with crime real crime issues and this is not a law enforcement issue."
"Along with the Sacramento County Sheriff's Office, the Merced County Sheriff's Office will not be determining compliance or enforcing any health or emergency orders related to curfews, Thanksgiving, or other social gatherings inside or outside the home, maximum occupancy, or mask mandates in Merced County. The Merced County Sheriff's Office will not dispatch deputies for these purposes, and callers will be directed to County Health Officials," the Merced County Sheriff's Office said when it shared the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office news release.
Los Angeles County Sheriff Alex Villanueva told Fox 11 his department will focus on enforcing the order for "nonessential" businesses that are violating the order, but will only write citations and will not be making arrests. He said he is enforcing the order because Los Angeles County is the most populous county in the state.
Sheriff Villanueva tells me he is aware other Sheriffs across California have announced they will not enforce any part of the curfew, but he says different counties have different circumstances and that L.A. County has 10 million people crammed together with cases rising. @FOXLA— Bill Melugin (@BillFOXLA) November 20, 2020