California Sheriff Department Rejects Newsom’s Lockdown Order

California Sheriff Department Rejects Newsom’s Lockdown Order

One California county said it will not use force against residents that violate Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D.) new lockdown orders, which the sheriff said are “disastrous” for the county. 

“While the governor’s office and the state [have] threatened action against violators, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department will not be blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders,” Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco said Friday. 

Bianco criticized Newsom’s “dictatorial attitude” toward Californians, requiring police to arrest, ticket, or close the businesses of violators, lest counties be punished with funding cuts. The sheriff also accused Newsom of attempting to distract from his own hypocrisy and irresponsibility, since the governor has dined out, kept his own winery open, and sent his children to private school.

“It appears part of the new goal is to shift attention away from his and others’ personal behavior with a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ attitude by turning public opinion against California sheriffs,” Bianco said.

The California lockdown was announced on Thursday, weeks after Newsom was caught dining with at least 12 individuals at the French Laundry, a high-priced Napa Valley restaurant. The governor claimed he and his wife had followed social-distancing guidelines, but photos released following his initial statement show him violating numerous rules by talking maskless and in close proximity to people from various households, including California Medical Association officials.

Bianco’s statement comes two weeks after several county sheriffs told Newsom they would not enforce his curfew order, while San Bernardino County officials announced they are planning a lawsuit against the governor’s “one-size-fits-all” restrictions.

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