An Ingham County judge dismissed charges on Monday against several hair stylists who cut hair as a protest on the steps of the Michigan Capitol in May.
Several haircutters and barbers participated in “Operation Haircut,” which was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition.
At least six stylists were ticketed for “disorderly conduct” by the Michigan State Police, which carried a $1,000 fine. The executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) used as the basis for the infractions was later ruled unconstitutional.
A final pretrial hearing was scheduled for this morning before District Court Judge Kristen D. Simmons, a Whitmer appointee.
Simmons dismissed the charges after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office failed to show.
“We never should have been charged to begin with. They had no authority to cite us,” Angela Rigas, one of the stylists charged, told Breitbart News after the hearing.
“The government’s role is to protect our rights, not run our lives,” she said.
In addition to Rigas and the other five defendants, Nessel was also unsuccessful in prosecuting Owosso barber Karl Manke, who participated in “Operation Haircut” but was not cited.
The 77-year-old barber was the highest-profile Michigander who defied Whitmer’s orders and refused to close his business.
Manke told WILX, “I’m still open, still working until they cut my hands off.”
He had his operating license taken away by Nessel and Whitmer, only to have it restored by a different court.
“It just proves her orders are unconstitutional,” Rigas said Monday.
Breitbart News was on location during the May protest and livestreamed the chaos as the group of mostly women were warned and then cited.
“This is an oppressive move on this governor’s part,” Manke told Breibart News on the Capitol steps, observing that it “reflects almost a police state.”Kyle Olson / Breitbart News
“I refuse to stand down on this,” he said.
“I wasn’t this rock star three weeks ago,” Manke said, but added Whitmer made him one.
He thanked God for the development.
“I’m still standing up. I still have that courage,” Manke said.
“Forcing unemployed citizens into a court process because they dared to express their First Amendment rights is not what Michiganders expect from their government,” David Kallman of Kallman Legal Group, PLLC said in a June news release from the Michigan Conservative Coalition.