The Riverside County Sheriff is blasting California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) over his “dictatorial” approach to enforcing lockdown and stay-at-home orders, saying that the sheriff’s department will refuse to be “blackmailed, bullied, or used as muscle against Riverside County residents.”
Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco released a video statement on Friday in which he excoriated the governor as a hypocrite and bully. He also indicated that county sheriffs won’t be sanctioning residents if they break the “ridiculous” stay-at-home mandates.
Sheriff Bianco singled out Gov. Newsom’s threat to withhold funding from counties that refuse to comply with his orders. “Leaders do not threaten, attempt to intimidate, or cause fear. Bullies do,” he said.
Bianco is the latest California sheriff to rebuke the governor’s stay-at-home orders. Sheriffs in Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Sacramento counties have also stated they won’t enforce the mandates.
“We have all recently learned about the new regional approach to combatting COVID-19 and the pending closure and stay-at-home orders from our governor,” Sheriff Bianco said in his video message. He continued:
We were also told that there was a potential he would be withholding federal and state funding from counties who did not force the orders. Ironically, it wasn’t that long ago our same governor loudly and publicly argued how wrong it was for the President of the United States to withhold federal funding from states not complying with federal laws.
The sheriff then brought up Gov. Newsom’s recent party at the swank French Laundry restaurant where he was photographed mingling indoors without wearing a mask or practicing social distancing.
“The dictatorial attitude toward California residents while dining in luxury, traveling, keeping his business open, and sending his kids to in-person private schools is very telling about his attitude toward California residents, his feelings about the virus, and it is extremely hypocritical.”
These closures and stay-at-home orders are flat-out ridiculous. The metrics used for closures are unbelievably faulty and are not representative of true numbers and are disastrous for Riverside County. When the medical field is so split about this virus, it might be time to employ a little common sense. Keeping money and support from our hospitals who are struggling with normal, seasonal increases in patients, coupled with COVID-19 patients is irresponsible. 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 a I do’ attitude by turning public opinion against California sheriffs.
“He is expecting us to arrest anyone violating these orders, cite them and take their money, close their businesses, make them stay in their homes, and take away their civil liberties or he will punish all of us, the Sheriff went on to say. “I believe all jobs are essential to someone. Leaders do not threaten, attempt to intimidate, or cause fear. Bullies do. As has been our position from the beginning of this pandemic, the Sheriff’s department is asking and expecting Riverside County residents to act responsibly and do what they can to protect themselves and their family from contracting the virus. Wear your mask and practice social distancing. While the governor’s office and the state has threatened action against violators, the Riverside Sheriff’s department will not be blackmailed, bullied or used as muscle against Riverside County residents in the enforcement of the governor’s orders.”