The sheriff of Fresno County, California, stated that she’s unable to enforce the state’s stay-at-home order because she is too busy re-arresting accused criminals who were released due to the state’s new “zero-dollar bail” policy.
“I’ve heard multiple sheriffs around the nation state they will not enforce their governors’ shelter-in-place orders,” Sheriff Margaret Mims was asked in an interview on the Trevor Carey Show, as Breitbart News reported. “Is that your position?”
“That is my position,” Mims responded. “We do not stop the public to find out what they’re doing when they’re not sheltering in place. We don’t ask those questions. We don’t ask if they’re ‘essential.’ We’ve got our hands full trying to rearrest people that are released due to zero-dollar bail. So we’ve got other things that are on our mind that are more important than stopping normally law-abiding citizens.”
In 2018, then-Gov. Jerry Brown signed SB 10 into law, which made California the first state to abolish cash bail for pretrial incarcerations.
It was estimated that 7,000 bail bond industry jobs and 3,200 small businesses would be lost when the bill went into effect, as Sacramento Bee reported.
On top of the prisoners being released on bail, the state of California has been releasing inmates from jail, including “high risk” sex offenders, in a move it says is aimed at stemming the spread of the coronavirus.
Sheriff Margaret Mims joins other sheriffs across the U.S. who have said they will not enforce stay-at-home orders issued by state governments.
“It’s time to get back opening up our businesses and letting our people do what our normal business activities are,” Riverside County, California, Sheriff Chad Bianco said earlier this month. “And, you know, you just can’t arrest somebody for going out and exercising in public or not wearing a mask. You know, at the same time, they are trying to force me to release real criminals from jail. They want me to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens that are, you know, trying to support a family. It doesn’t make sense anymore.”
Culpeper County, Virginia, Sheriff Scott Jenkins echoed that sentiment, citing the Constitution as his reason for refusing to enforce Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order.
Sheriff Brian BeGole, who represents Shiawassee County, Michigan, pushed back against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, whose lockdown measures have sparked several protests, and said he won’t enforce her stay-at-home order.