Michigan governor: State police ‘monitoring all conversations’ of lockdown protesters

by WorldTribune Staff, May 14, 2020

As Michigan residents planned a Thursday demonstration against what they see as her oppressive coronavirus lockdown orders, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said state police were “monitoring all of the conversations” of those who planned to attend the protest at the state capitol in Lansing.

Michigan State Police in Lansing. / YouTube

Asked by reporters on Wednesday if she “wants to see” the Michigan State Police ticket protesters who are violating social distancing orders, Whitmer responded:

“I think the Michigan State Police is monitoring all of the conversations around this event tomorrow – that they are prepared and are working with the attorney general.”

Whitmer said the police were prepared to ticket protesters “if there’s reason to do it.”

Whitmer was first asked about what “proof” she had that protesters had spread the coronavirus around the state after previous demonstrations.

“I saw one report — I don’t have proof. I’m not following everybody home and taking their temperatures and watching them for two weeks,” she said.

Whitmer claimed to see a lot of activists “touching each other” at protests.

She said a group analyzed cell phone data and concluded that it “translates to where we’re seeing hot spots in rural parts of Michigan,” but also admitted “I don’t know the group, I’ve not vetted the data, I can’t vouch for it.”

During the CNN appearance last week, Whitmer said: “Some of the outrageousness of what happened at our capitol depicted some of the worst racism and awful parts of our history in this country.”

The governor also said: “The fact of the matter is, these protests — in a perverse way — make it likelier that we are going to have to stay in a stay-at-home posture,” adding the she was encouraging anyone with a platform to call on people to “do the right thing.”

Last week, the Republican-led state legislature filed suit against Whitmer over her extension of Michigan’s state of emergency, saying she overstepped her authority.

Whitmer extended the state of emergency to last through May 28, a move the Republican leaders in the House and Senate say requires legislative approval.

“She has chosen to regulate every aspect of nearly 10 million lives with no consent or input from the people’s representatives, whose assistance the Governor publicly disdains,” states the lawsuit, filed in the Michigan Court of Claims.

“The law in Michigan is clear,” House Speaker Lee Chatfield said. “Only the Legislature has the power to extend the state of emergency.”

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down the stay-at-home order of Gov. Tony Evers’ administration.

The ruling “essentially reopens the state, lifting caps on the size of gatherings, allowing people to travel as they please and allowing shuttered businesses to reopen, including bars and restaurants,” the Associated Press reported.

Health secretary Andrea Palm had issued the order, and the court found she didn’t have the authority to do so.

“Rule-making exists precisely to ensure that kind of controlling, subjective judgement asserted by one unelected official, Palm, is not imposed in Wisconsin,” Chief Justice Patience Roggensack wrote in the majority opinion.

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