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Weekly Blog: Arrested

Three simple questions:

1.  What happened to Due Process under the Fifth Amendment?

2. What happened to the Right to a Jury Trial under the Sixth Amendment?

3. When did we lose the right to private property without just compensation under the Fifth Amendment?

Sales Ladies
Recently undercover cops arrested two women in Laredo, Texas, for violating the city’s COVID-19 shutdown order. The women, Ana Isabel Castro-Garcia and Brenda Stephanie Mata, had been operating prohibited cosmetology businesses from their home.

The Laredo lock down mandates that “non-essential” businesses, including cosmetology services, must close. Police say the women were reported anonymously through the department’s app.

“Both of the violators independently solicited customers via social media,” the department told the Laredo Morning Times. “On both cases, an undercover officer working on the COVID-19 task force enforcement detail made contact with each solicitor to set up an appointment for a cosmetic, beauty service that is prohibited under the emergency ordinance.” Police posing as customers then arrested both women in their homes.

Both women were charged with a Class B misdemeanor, which comes with a maximum potential penalty of 180 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. The two women were released on $500 personal recognizance bonds.

Hair Salon
A hair salon owner in Texas has been jailed for a week for staying open despite coronavirus restrictions that have shut all non-essential businesses.Shelley Luther, owner of Salon à la Mode in Dallas, appeared in court on Tuesday after defying a cease-and-desist letter and a restraining order.

The judge said she could avoid jail if she apologized for being selfish, shut the salon and paid a fine.  But Luther refused, saying “feeding my kids is not selfish”.  She would only have needed to close the salon until Friday, because the state plans to allow them to reopen then.

Luther was fined $7,000 (£5,652) and warned that she would be fined a further $500 a day from now until Friday if the business continued to remain open.  Judge Eric Moyé told Luther: “The rule of law governs us. People cannot take it upon themselves to determine what they will and will not do.”

A Dallas inspector and a police officer told the court that they saw clients inside getting haircuts and manicures, according to the Texas Tribune.

In court she told the judge: “I have to disagree with you, sir, when you say that I am selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish. I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids.  “So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids being fed, then please go ahead with your decision. But I’m not going to shut the salon.”

Self-Quarantine

Charges were dropped against a West Georgia woman who had been exposed to the coronavirus but refused to self-quarantine, authorities said last week.  She was spotted April 7 in Tallapoosa, and citizens called police, who arrested her. She was charged with criminal trespassing.

Protest

In North Carolina, a group protesting Gov. Roy Cooper’s restrictions on mass gatherings is seeking legal protection from arrest after one demonstrator was seized at a rally last week.

Groups

Cincinnati police reported last week that officers had arrested and charged 10 people, but that dozens of others had received warnings about gathering in large groups.

Sleep Over

Five days ago in Steamboat, Colorado, three men spent a night in jail after refusing to leave a friend’s apartment.

Paddle Boarding

Three weeks ago in Malibu, California, a paddle boarder was arrested for violating stay-at-home orders, the Los Angeles Times reported. And 36 miles south, in Manhattan Beach, a surfer was cited and charged $1,000.

The American Civil Liberties Union is discouraging arrests, saying jail time is potentially more dangerous and could expose detainees to COVID-19.  Keep in mind as of last Thursday, there have been more than 16,000 inmates released from prisons all over the United States due to the fear that inmates are overly exposed to the Covid.

That is some great legal logic.   Lets release the inmates that have been tried and convicted by a jury of their peers and replace them with people who are not violating a law passed by a law making body (legislature) and without the opportunity to a Jury trial.  Arrests, by their very nature, require police and suspects to come into physical contact with each other. People being arrested are then put in jails that have become breeding grounds for the Covid.

Texas Gov Abbott said in a news release: “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.”  He added: “As some county judges advocate for releasing hardened criminals from jail to prevent the spread of Covid-19, it is absurd to have these business owners take their place.”

No one suspended the Constitution of the United States and the last I heard the Covid has not made the Constitution invalid.

My last year of law school, I bought a ticket to Europe two days before Christmas and left alone two days after.  I did not know what I was going to do, did not speak the language, and did not know where I was going to go.  My very concerned parents, told me that as an adult you will face risks and obstacles, and it is your own responsibility to overcome those to find a better solution.  Simply, it is my job to find my solution.  On that trip, I took with me two books – the Bible and the Constitution.  I was a 25 year old, American who was about to finish law school and had never learned the two books that founded this Country and it’s law.  That trip changed me.  I learned My God, My Country, My purpose, and My wife.

May I encourage you to read these two books again and again as they are the core of every citizen, every job, and every law of the United States.  The Constitution was given to us as a means of freedom arising out of fear caused by tyranny.  Our forefathers crafted the law, so that we could always have the freedom it bestows upon this great Country and all of its citizens.

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