ROBBINSVILLE – Graham County Sheriff Joseph Jones announced on the department’s social media page that his office will not enforcing bans on dine-in services at restaurants, citing the need to start the process of recovery and the journey toward normalcy for the families in his community.
This is the most matter of fact refusal by a sheriff, yet, with Sheriff Jones literally communicating which establishments he means be ‘restaurants’ and stating that he has decided not to enforce executive orders banning dine-in services. Jones went on to say that it is necessary to “help some of the folks recover and give our citizens to go eat inside while sitting with family, friends, and/or coworkers.”
Polk County Sheriff Timothy Wright was a bit more pointed in his explanation of how his office as not been enforcing the governor’s order at all because they are unconstitutional.
Sheriff Wright stated his office had concerns about the “enforceability” of Governor Cooper’s executive orders from the day they were issued.
“It has been our office policy since the very beginning not to take any enforcement action beyond providing a copy of the orders to complainants and those we’ve received citizen complaints on. Business owners and religious leaders are adults and private citizens and they can make their own informed decisions as to how to safely operate their businesses and organizations.
The Office of Sheriff, nor should it have ever been, in the business if regulating private industry and practices. Our mandate and ethical responsibility is to uphold the Constitution of the United States and enforce the laws of the land when a clearly established law has been obviously violated. […]
We will recover and we will be stronger for it, but we must recognize each other’s rights as guaranteed by our Constitution.”
If this sheriff has not been enforcing the orders from the very beginning, citing the fact that they are inconsistent and their enforcement is constitutionally questionable, then you’d expect Polk County to be a hotspot for COVID-19 outbreaks that are surely buckling the local hospital system. After all, that’s why these lockdown orders were decreed in the first place; and that hypothetical is what officials like Governor Cooper and Health Secretary Mandy Cohen warn about when asked about people and businesses defying the shutdown orders.
Well, get ready for the unexpected, because Polk County, which has not been enforcing the governor’s lockdown orders at all, the orders they said were absolutely necessary to save lives and avoid a massive outbreak that flooded hospitals, has had about 30 cases of the Wuhan virus and three deaths attributed to COVID-19.
It’s almost as it these orders weren’t warranted, and the result has been all cost and no benefit.