Welp, Washington DC will have a 'mask Stasi.' Okay, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but no doubt this is a provision that should not be added to law enforcement’s already long list of duties. Mayor Muriel Bowser extended the mask mandate last week and explicitly told businesses and DC residents that if you see people not following the mask edict—call the police (via Reason):
Bowser was explicit about what shopkeepers should do if they encounter anyone who flouts her own mandate. "They should call the police and the police will enforce it," she said during a press conference yesterday.
Two things can be true: Masks are an effective tool in curbing the spread of COVID-19, and we don't need armed agents of the state policing that behavior.
If there was ever a time when politicians should understand the latter, it's now. The debate around police reform took center stage just last month following the late-May killing of George Floyd, who died after a former Minneapolis police officer dug his knee into Floyd's neck for almost nine minutes. Floyd was suspected of using a fake $20 bill.
Bowser herself has been supportive of efforts to improve the criminal justice system, having signed a police reform bill last week. "Black Lives Matter is very critical of police. They're critical of me," Bowser said shortly after renaming the street across from the White House 'Black Lives Matter Plaza' and commissioning a Black Lives Matter (BLM) road mural. "That doesn't mean that I don't see them and support the things that will make our community safe."
Siccing police on mask-deniers is probably not the best approach to upholding her end of the bargain.
I couldn’t agree more. Before this Floyd riots, it was already clear that our police do too much. They enforce the law, act as de facto social workers, dog catchers in some localities, providing school security, and performing tasks that are simply not within the purview of law enforcement typically. These guys are not mental health counselors either. Former Dallas Police Chief David Brown explicitly said this in July 2016 following the brutal murder of five Dallas cops. It was during a protest following the officer-involved shooting deaths of Alton Sterling in Louisiana and Philando Castile in Minnesota. The ambush was the deadliest day for law enforcement since the 9/11 terror attacks.
Right now, we’re being told multiple things about COVID. No one knows anything. We were told to stay inside, but if you’re protesting for Black Lives Matter, you can go outside; the virus doesn’t infect people in those gatherings or something. It was a crock. And now cops being deputized as the mask police. Nothing good is going to come from this and it’s a bipartisan debacle. Reason added that the Republican mayor of Miami is also issuing fine and tasking the police with enforcing mask mandates.