Mich. sheriff tells Fox News that expanded stay-at-home order 'a bridge too far’
“My worry, Shannon, is that officers are going to be put in bad positions, in dangerous positions by going out and checking IDs and making sure people belong where they’re at"
By Brandon Champion
MLive.com, Walker, Mich.
MASON COUNTY, Mich. — Earlier this week, four Northern Michigan sheriffs released a statement saying they wouldn’t strictly enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders, calling them “a vague framework of emergency laws that only confuse Michigan citizens.”
On Thursday, one of those sheriffs, Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole, appeared on Fox News to further discuss their concerns with Fox News host Shannon Bream.
Cole said many of the calls his West Michigan department have received involve people reporting more vehicles than normal at residences or requests to have officers check IDs to make sure people are where they’re supposed to be.
He added that it’s unrealistic and unconstitutional for officers to be checking on individual residences.
“I think that’s a bridge too far,” he said. “We’re being asked to go on people’s private property on anonymous tips and remove people from homes. Again, it’s a bridge too far.”
Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich, Benzie County Sheriff Ted Schendel and Manistee County Sheriff Ken Falk also attached their name to the original statement released on Wednesday as thousands of angry residents protested at the state capital in Lansing.
Bream asked Cole how you protect people from the coronavirus without violating constitutional rights.
“We want people to follow the CDC guidelines, but we also want people to be protected on their own property,” Cole said.
He then said that locally restrictions on boating in particular “sent people over the edge,” noting that there are 77 inland lakes and streams in Mason County where fishing is exceptionally popular.
“A person can break out their ORV and go ride trails, but a person can’t break out a 16-foot boat and fish,” he said. “My worry, Shannon, is that officers are going to be put in bad positions, in dangerous positions by going out and checking IDs and making sure people belong where they’re at. I pray it doesn’t happen but there’s a probability of a bad encounter between a citizen and a police officer.”
The interview ended with Cole responding to one of the many critics that have emerged since the sheriffs released their statement.
“I’m elected by the citizens of Mason County, not a particular attorney,” he said, before reading the Mason County Sheriff’s mission and vision statement. “The people of Mason County can decide if they still want me to be their sheriff when this election cycle is up.”
Michigan has 29,263 cases of COVID-19, with 2,093 deaths, as of Thursday, April 16. Another update is expected at 3 p.m. on Friday.
The full interview can be seen below.
Michigan sheriffs explains decision not strictly enforce governor's increasingly strict 'stay-at-home' orders
Michigan sheriffs explains decision not strictly enforce governor's increasingly strict 'stay-at-home' ordersPosted by Fox News at Night on Thursday, April 16, 2020
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