Shiawassee sheriff won’t enforce Whitmer orders amid Owosso barber dispute
Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole said his department will not enforce Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders issued during the coronavirus pandemic as an Owosso barber continues to cut hair.
The Monday announcement, posted to the department’s Facebook page, comes as Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel is expected to ask the Shiawassee County Circuit Court to order the closure of an Owosso barber shop operating in violation of Whitmer’s stay-home order.
Sheriff deputies have the responsibility to uphold the state and federal constitutions, Begole said in the Monday letter.
“With limited resources, staffing and facilities, our priority focus will be on enforcing duly passed laws for the protection of Shiawassee County citizens,” Begole said. “I have decided, within my authority, that our office cannot and will not divert our primary resources and efforts towards enforcement of the (sic) Governor Whitmer’s executive orders,” he wrote.
Separately, at least five other sheriffs departments have said they will not make a priority to enforce the executive orders. Those include the counties of Leelanau, Benzie, Manistee, Mason and Livingston.
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‘Police will have no entry’: Michigan militia vows to protect barber refusing to close business
Members of an armed Michigan militia say they will stand at the door of a barbershop in Owosso to protect the owner from being arrested for allegedly violating the state’s lockdown order.
“We are here to make sure he doesn’t get arrested,” Daniel Brewer, a member of the militia, told local media on Saturday. “We’re willing to stand in front of that door and block the entrance so the police will have no entry there today.”
Karl Manke, 77, opened his shop last week in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s order, saying he has “lived under 14 presidents, and this is the worst depression I’ve lived under, and I’m not going to live under it.”
He continued: “I believe it’s my right to work to make my living, and that’s what I’m going to do.”