We had this happen in America around Thanksgiving with local sheriffs refusing to prevent families from gathering together over the holiday.
The Marion County Sheriff’s office, whose jurisdiction includes the state capital, declined, stating, “We cannot arrest or enforce our way out of the pandemic.”
When Governor Cuomo of New York, whose order forcing nursing homes to accept infected coronavirus patients may have killed as many as 11,000 senior citizens, tried to enlist law enforcement in his crackdown on Thanksgiving, the sheriffs of New York also wouldn’t do it.
The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office assured that “the men and women of the Steuben County Sheriff’s Office will not be peeking in your window or attempting to enter your property to count the number of persons at your table on Thanksgiving.”
“I can’t see how devoting our resources to counting cars in our citizens’ driveways or investigating how much turkey or dressing they’ve purchased is for the public good,” the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Office objected.
Now the rebellion is spreading to Canada.
Police in cities across Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, on Saturday refused to make random stops greenlighted by the provincial government seeking to impose a stay-at-home order amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
Toronto, the country’s largest city, Ottawa, Hamilton, Windsor and at least 19 other municipal police forces said they would not conduct random vehicle or individual stops though they had been given the power to do so.
“The Toronto Police Service will continue to engage, educate and enforce, but we will not be doing random stops of people or cars,” the force said on Twitter. Mayor John Tory supported the move.
Considering the political identification, you know why the media is cheering the move. But it’s still the right move.
Stopping cars randomly and demanding that people justify their right to be outdoors was a bridge that was pretty far even by the current standards of the pandemic in North America. It’s not that far in some ways, but it’s further than I know of any force going. And it really is martial law.
It also comes at a time when people have the least tolerance for further coronavirus crackdowns.