On April 21, 2020 In Meridian, Idaho a mother who was playing on a playground with her children was arrested for asking questions.
As seen in the video below a mother who was joined by several other parents was instructed by a Law Enforcement Officer to get off the playground for their safety. This officer was citing Idaho COVID-19 regulations. These parents were informed that they could remain on the grass but no one was permitted to be on the playground itself. Now you might find this odd due to the social distancing guidelines suggested by the CDC. It would seem that the regulations in Idaho did not include social distancing, but simply that persons were not permitted on the playground.
The Mother instructed her children to return to the grass and began asking the officer questions. The Officer gave her a count of 5 to get off the playground before arresting her. The Officer can be observed as having what some might call a bad attitude. The other 2 officers who also were on site seemed to be more friendly and considerate.
Onlookers began to shout and taunt the officer with Nazi comparisons for arresting this mother for simply asking questions as to why they could be on the grass but not on the playground. The Officer also seems to show no concern for the parent’s children who were later picked up by the father.
Could this happen in South Carolina? Governor McMaster’s Executive Order directs Law Enforcement Officers to use their judgment in executing this states directive pertaining to Social Distancing and groups of 3 or more. As most officers would more than likely simply try to explain why they are directing individuals to disburse, some may use this power to overstep their authority.
As we have seen in other news articles of non-South Carolinians being arrested for being on the beach or gathered in small groups it has been asked if these individuals were targeted for simply not being from South Carolina.
During the COVID-19 issue many South Carolinians and other states have began to question the authority of their State and local governments. One side will tell you that they have rights under the U.S. Constitution and that several aspects of these Executive Orders violate these protections. While others will tell you they are willing to give up some rights for public safety.
The real questions are, where do your rights stop and government orders begin? When does Government have the right to disregard the protected rights of its people? Have State Governments begun a tyrannical takeover ignoring a person’s civil rights?
The purpose of elected officials such as Governors and Mayors is to listen to the people who placed them in these positions and to ensure the rights and voices of their constituents are protected. COVID-19 assuredly is a unique time in our lives and has brought several challenges for states and individuals. Stay at home Orders are argued as being wrongful incarcerations by some, while again others feel this is a benefit for the greater good.
In their Oaths of Office, these elected officials swore to uphold the greatly argued U.S. Constitution and the laws of their state or area. Does this include an oath to violate these rights under such a time of believed threat? And how far does this allowance extend?
This Officer could have certainly done things differently in this situation and avoided his 15 minutes of fame. Perhaps he should have used his better judgment.
Can the people no longer ask questions of their elected officials? We also want to note that several Law Enforcement Agencies have publicaly stated they will not enforce certain aspects of issued orders as they are considered violations of people’s rights. This includes curfews and gun possessions, which is another point of reference in the video. You can see that many of the woman in this video are practicing their right to Constitutional Carry of firearms. We salute these parents for staning up for their believes.