A Southern California sheriff delivered a rousing speech where he proclaimed that he refuses to enforce the state-mandated stay-at-home order because he won't "make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights."
During a board of supervisors meeting Wednesday, Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco made it clear that he will not enforce lockdown orders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"From the beginning, I told you that I would not be enforcing this stay-at-home order, partly because I trusted our residents' ability to do the right thing without the fear of being arrested," Bianco said. "I knew that they could be trusted to act as responsible adults, and I was correct.
"Not only do we not have the resources to enforce unreasonable orders, I refuse to make criminals out of business owners, single moms, and otherwise healthy individuals for exercising their constitutional rights," Bianco continued. "I believe Riverside County residents are responsible enough to proceed cautiously."
Bianco said the lockdown orders "eliminated constitutional freedoms put in place over 200 years ago."
"In the name of a public health crisis, our civil liberties and constitutional protections were placed on hold," Bianco said.
Bianco pointed out that 2,000 of the county's 4,300 people who tested positive for the coronavirus have recovered and returned to work in the county that has a population of 2.5 million and is located between Los Angeles and San Diego counties.
"Unfortunately, we have lost 181 of our residents to this virus, but keep in mind that that is only seven-thousandths of 1 percent," Bianco noted. "While the loss of any life is tragic, we must also be cognizant of the future and well-being of our county's fiscal health and the ability to perform necessary functions.
"The original projections and fears that caused these orders to be put into place have been proven wrong," the sheriff said. "As leaders, we must adjust our decisions to better serve the county as a whole."
After Bianco delivered his speech, many of the people at the board of supervisors meeting clapped and cheered in agreement.