Michigan sends state police to shut down barber who defied lockdown

by WorldTribune Staff, May 10, 2020

Officials in Michigan deployed state police to shut down a barbershop after its owner had reopened for business on May 4 in defiance of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus lockdown order.

Karl Manke: ‘I believe it’s my right to work to make my living and that’s what I’m going to do.’ / YouTube

Michigan State Police paid a visit to Karl Manke’s barbershop in Owosso and served paperwork from the Attorney General’s Office ordering the 77-year-old to shut down his business.

Under Whitmer’s executive order, which is now extended until May 28, barbershops and hair salons are deemed non-essential and are prohibited from opening.

Manke told the Detroit News on Saturday morning that there were lines of people awaiting cuts and he didn’t plan on closing.

“I’ve lived under 14 presidents and this is the worst depression I’ve lived under and I’m not going to live under it,” Manke said. “I believe it’s my right to work to make my living and that’s what I’m going to do.”

Earlier this week, Manke said he had yet to receive unemployment or stimulus payments and needed to pay bills, the Detroit News report said.

Troopers arrived at Manke’s shop on Friday, saying it was an “imminent danger” to public health. If the shop does not shutter, the state attorney general will seek a court order to close it.

“Mr. Manke’s actions are not a display of harmless civil disobedience,” Michigan Attorney General’s Office spokesman Ryan Jarvi told the Detroit News. “His actions are counterproductive to the collective effort businesses and communities everywhere have made to slow the spread of COVID-19, and by opening the doors to his business, he’s putting the lives of many more Michiganders at risk.”

RedState’s T. LaDuke wrote:

This has all the optics of a really bad 80’s movie where, at some point, people start screaming “WOLVERINES” (pun intended) and it won’t end well for the state officials on all fronts. Sending in the State Police after the local authorities have already issued Karl Manke two citations is just overkill.

The Governor and A.G., I’m sure, don’t want to top the Shelley Luther incident down in Texas, where she was arrested for opening her beauty salon. Having a 77-year-old man who has cut hair in the area since 1961 being hauled away in handcuffs for trying to earn a living is not a great look for any elected official no matter the reason.

If you say it is about SAFETY, then it is about time the Governor releases all the science and data she is relying on to make these decisions.

The Texas state Supreme Court ordered Dallas County officials on Thursday to release Luther from jail. The salon owner, who opened her business in defiance of the state’s coronavirus lockdown order, had been sentenced to 7 days in jail after refusing to apologize to the judge hearing her case.

The state Supreme Court’s ruling came shortly after Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday that officials will be prohibited from jailing Texans for violating any of his coronavirus-related executive orders.

“Throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen,” Abbott said in a statement. “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order.”

Meanwhile, Florida is allowing barber shops and hair salons to reopen Monday in all but Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

By Sunday, at least 47 states will have eased restrictions meant to stop the outbreak, leaving New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., with most of their pandemic measures in place.


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