Houston Police Push Back Against Mandatory Mask Ordinance
Houston Police Push Back Against Mandatory Mask Ordinance
Houston police have a very big problem with the mandatory mask ordinance imposed upon Houston and Harris County residents.
First, let’s take a look at the ordinance itself. These are the requirements.
“Exceptions: when exercising, eating or drinking, alone and in a separate space, at home with roommates or family, or when doing so risks security, mental, or physical health
Takes effect Monday & lasts 30 days
Permitted garments: homemade mask, scarf, bandana or handkerchief
Not recommended: N-95 respirators/medical masks because first responders need them.
Essential businesses must provide face coverings/training to workers whose jobs require them to come into contact w/colleagues or the public.
Punishment for breaking rules = Fine up to $1,000 or up to 180 days in jail. Enforcement up to Harris County law enforcement agencies.”
Look at that last rule. A person could get fined $1,000 or hauled off to JAIL if caught not wearing a mask! How incredibly draconian and unConstitutional!! I get that no one wants to get sick. But this is going to damned far! How will this be enforced? By setting up a snitch hotline such as the one Bill de Blasio touted? Given that one went over as well as a fart in church, I’d say that’s a non-starter. Oh wait, I know. How about letting people write snitch emails? That worked so very well in St. Louis. NOT.
Never mind, let’s make the police department patrol around specifically looking for the mask miscreants. Well, once the Houston PD learned of the plan, they had a thing or two to say about that.
HPOU response to @LinaHidalgoTX draconian mask order: “Now we want to be very clear, HPOU believes everyone should be wearing a mask in public, in order to protect themselves from the virus and we are encouraging all of our officers to wear a mask. However, we draw the line…” pic.twitter.com/XbphfNYHii— Houston Police Officers' Union (@HPOUTX) April 22, 2020
Boy Howdy! That is…BLUNT. I commend the Houston PD for standing up to this draconian overreach. Seriously, by their statement it is obvious they have more to contend with than running around checking to make sure all are toeing the mask mandate line. Besides, threatening fines or JAIL to someone who doesn’t wear a mask? We live in a Constitutional Republic folks, not a dictatorship!
Judges have already had to issue smackdowns regarding governmental overreach into our 1st Amendment right to Freedom of Religion. It has gotten bad enough that the DOJ is looking into the situation. But now we find that local governments are threatening JAIL if their ordinances aren’t followed? Does Harris County REALLY want that kind of PR right now? Is Harris County ready to deal with the inevitable lawsuits if they mandate enforcement of this ordinance? Evidently so.
Congressman Dan Crenshaw caught wind of this ordinance.
Absolutely not.— Rep. Dan Crenshaw (@RepDanCrenshaw) April 22, 2020
I agree that guidelines for masks in confined spaces should be strongly promoted.
But 180 days in jail or $1,000 fine for not wearing a mask? That is draconian.
Don’t let commonsense guidelines lead us to government tyranny. https://t.co/aD1V1BUlja
That’s the key! STRONGLY PROMOTE the wearing of masks. Don’t make it mandatory and punishable by jail time because yes, that is indeed government tyranny.
Houston PD is not alone in pushing back against local and state government overreach. Washington State, which has been at the epicenter of all of this since February, is receiving major pushback from Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney.
He makes it very clear that yes, this virus is serious. Yet he ALSO points out that the cherry picking of what jobs are and aren’t essential is leading to major economic hardship across his county. Government construction is ok, but residential and commercial construction isn’t? Even here in CO with a Democrat governor, not a single construction project of any kind was shut down.
Sheriff Fortney goes on to specifically state that he and the department have NOT carried out any enforcement regarding the stay-at-home order.
“As your Snohomish County Sheriff, yes I believe that preventing business owners to operate their businesses and provide for their families intrudes on our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I am greatly concerned for our small business owners and single-income families who have lost their primary source of income needed for survival
As your elected Sheriff I will always put your constitutional rights above politics or popular opinion. We have the right to peaceably assemble. We have the right to keep and bear arms. We have the right to attend church service of any denomination. The impacts of COVID 19 no longer warrant the suspension of our constitutional rights.”
Exactly so. Yet we are on the verge of falling off the cliff Constitutionally if we don’t push back against governmental overreach like this.
Houston is dealing rising crime rates, yet Judge Hidalgo expects them to run around looking for people who refuse to wear masks.
Everyone should be wearing a mask in public, I wear 1 everyday. But making not wearing 1 punishable by law, and asking our officers to enforce it, will do irreparable damage to our relationship with the community. We are already stretched too thin without having to enforce this. pic.twitter.com/BwxEJgHvkq— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) April 22, 2020
Again, people should be strongly encouraged to wear a mask in public, and many if not most, will choose to do of their own free will without being threatened with fines or jail time!
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Feature Photo Credit: Mask photo by Anrita1705 via Pixabay, cropped and modified