Stay-at-Home Orders – Police Can Enforce Them

 In opinion, Politics

Are we living in Stalingrad or the United States? States are now threatening up to $2,500 – $5000 tickets and/or arrest for violating the stay-at-home orders. Stay-at-home orders are growing in nearly every state…with police to enforce them.

Washington DC now has a stay-at-home order, as well as Maryland and Virginia. Washington state’s Governor Inslee has also announced that police will be enforcing his order, which mirrors the procedures of Maryland, Virginia, and DC and the other states involved in the crackdown on people moving around. Pennsylvania today closed all schools indefinitely (NBC10).

Stay-at-home orders

KXLY local news in Washington wrote the protocol for Inslee’s order:

  1. First warning: Order to stop and comply
  2. Second warning: Take action with citation, suspension of permits, revoking of business licenses
  3. Refer case to Attorney General’s office for civil or criminal charges

Inslee’s order contains a link to report violations. The punishment is up to a year in jail and a $5000 fine.

Northam’s Virginia order is the longest of all the states- from March 30 to June 10 – 72 days. You can be arrested and face up to a year in jail with a $2500 fine. The DC order only allows a 90 day jail sentence, but has a $5000 fine. Same for Maryland- up to 90 days, and a $5000 fine. (The DCist)

History states that stay-at-home orders were necessary during the Spanish Flu epidemic. I’m still skeptical that this is a good idea.

1) People are being encouraged to rat on one another, which conjures up shades of WWII Nazis. The story of Anne Frank’s capture by the Nazis should be a reminder- it was a Dutch informer who ratted on her and those with her as they hid themselves. In some places in California, people are calling police on their neighbors.

2) As we’ve mentioned before, people who should never have power, have trouble relinquishing it later. Is allowing these politicians this much power over people a wise idea? Whether they will voluntarily give it up after the virus passes is a concern.

3) Police officers nationwide are concerned about their own health in the midst of all this crackdown (AP). NYPD had 4,111 officers call in sick (10% of their force), two NYPD employees have died from the disease, and more than 500 NYPD members have been diagnosed with Coronavirus. Detroit is in the same boat with 20% of their officers in quarantine. If civil unrest should occur in these large cities, would the police be able to take care of it?

All in all, it still feels like Stalingrad. We hope and pray for the virus to be contained…soon.

Featured photo: screenshot of Gov Inslee’s press conference via Rev.

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Comments
  • Ben
    Reply

    How is this not a violation of the 8th amendment?

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