The Houston Police Officer’s Union slammed a Texas judge over her “idiotic” and “unconstitutional” 30-day mandatory mask order.
While Governor Greg Abbott has set about lifting restrictions and opening up the economy in Texas as the worst of the coronavirus spread seems to be in the rearview mirror, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is making failure to wear a mask in public a punishable offense.
The order will go into effect on Monday, and anyone found in violation will be subject to a $1,000 fine, or roughly 83 percent of the individual stimulus check just handed out by the federal government because people are struggling financially.
MASK MANDATE: Details on Harris County’s plan to make people wear masks in public pic.twitter.com/hfnZtOr9AO
— Ivory Hecker FOX 26 (@IvoryHecker) April 22, 2020
Police Union Unleashed
The Houston Police Officers’ Union, though they advise everyone to wear a mask in public, slammed Hidalgo’s mandatory decree as a “draconian” measure.
“Our officers work every single day to bridge the gap with our community and earn their trust,” they wrote in a statement, “we will not stand idly by and allow Hidalgo to tear that bridge down with her horrific leadership and echo chamber decision making.”
The union says they are also currently looking into the matter from a legal standpoint.
The statement notes the police have little time to enforce a mandatory mask order and no inclination to play Hidalgo’s games.
“We do not have time to be pawns in Hidalgo’s game of attempting to control the actions of law-abiding, tax-paying individuals of our community,” they advised. “Especially since this idiotic order is possibly an unconstitutional one from the County Judge.”
Everyone should be wearing a mask in public, I wear 1 everyday. But making not wearing 1 punishable by law, and asking our officers to enforce it, will do irreparable damage to our relationship with the community. We are already stretched too thin without having to enforce this. pic.twitter.com/BwxEJgHvkq
— Joe Gamaldi (@JoeGamaldi) April 22, 2020
Lawmakers also joined in piling on the criticism of Hidalgo’s order.
Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called it “the ultimate government overreach.”
“These kinds of confused government policies fuel public anger — and rightfully so,” Patrick writes in a statement.
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) said guidelines for wearing masks should “absolutely” be promoted but he could “never support” possible fines or jail time for not wearing one.
“Do not let commonsense guidelines lead to unjust tyranny,” he added.
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