You give the government an inch they will go 500 miles. Then they’ll go 500 more. The Wuhan coronavirus is just the latest example that proves this point.

Your resident libertarian is here to showcase a few instances of government overreach in the name of the common good.

Colorado Police Arrest Dad in Front of Daughter for Supposedly Violating Social Distance Rules

Michael Mooney went to a park with his 6-year-old daughter and wife. The park had a closed sign but said groups of no more than four persons can still enjoy the park for some activities.

But the officers still arrested him:

Mooney told the FOX31 Problem Solvers he refused to provide his identification to three police officers because he was confident he wasn’t doing anything unlawful by playing tee-ball with his wife and daughter at the park.

“She’s like, ‘Daddy, I don’t want you to get arrested.’ At this point I’m thinking, ‘There’s no way they’re going to arrest me, this is insane.’ I’m telling her, ‘Don’t worry, Daddy’s not going to get arrested. I’ve done nothing wrong. Don’t worry about it,’ and then they arrest me.”

Former Brighton City Councilman Kirby Wallin recorded much of the incident on his cellphone, where you can hear his voice narrate the scene.

“He’s being taken by the Brighton police for playing softball with his daughter in an empty park,” Wallin said.

In an interview with the Problem Solvers, Wallin said, “I find it hard to believe with all the things going on in our communities, the only way to resolve a situation like this was to handcuff a father in front of his daughter.”

Churchgoers Ticketed $500 for Attending Service in Their Cars in the Parking Lot

Pastor Arthur Scott of the Temple Baptist Church in Mississippi held service for members of the church because the parishioners stayed in their cars:

The church, according to member Lee Gordon, has been using the radio broadcast for the last three weeks as part of the social-distancing recommendations from federal, state and local governments during the COVID-19, coronavirus epidemic.

Those social distancing mandates were strengthened with Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves shelter-in-place order on April 3 and further strengthened with Greenville Mayor Errick Simmons’ executive order on Tuesday that all church buildings are to be closed for both in-person and drive-in church services.

The executive order further halted drive-in church meetings and encouraged those churches to use other means to communicate their message.

Simmons spewed the usual justification: “We’ve done these orders for the safety of our citizens.”

SKYNET Truly Exists

We’ve covered a few of these pieces:

Now Baltimore has plans for an aerial surveillance program. The city promises that officials will only use it to investigate homicides, robberies, carjacking, and other serious crimes:

The Maryland city is planning as soon as this month to start experimenting with an aerial surveillance program, using planes equipped with high-tech cameras that can cover 90% of the city’s land area at any given moment.

The pilot program was unveiled months ago to help Baltimore’s strained police force investigate and respond to street crime, a task that has taken on new importance, as officers try to maintain operations amid the coronavirus pandemic, Baltimore’s police commissioner says.

“This actually can serve as a force multiplier for the police department, and perhaps can be used as an investigative tool while we are practicing social distancing,” Baltimore Police Commissioner Michael Harrison said during an online public hearing on the project on April 1.

The technology, called wide-area surveillance, involves piloted aircraft flying over the city with cameras, capturing 90% of the area at any given time. The company offering it, Persistent Surveillance Systems, has said a version of the system was previously used by the Air Force in Iraq. Persistent Surveillance Systems declined to comment.

When a crime occurs, police could rewind the footage to look for people or cars in the area, then try to identify suspects with other evidence such as ground-based cameras or license-plate readers.

The technology can’t on its own identify an individual and would assist investigations only after a serious crime has occurred, the department says.

Sen. Cassidy Suggests Online Registry for Those Who Recovered & Uses Scripture to Guilt People to Follow Social Distancing Rules

I think the word registry becomes a trigger word for me when it comes out of a politician’s mouth.

Even the mere suggestion is troubling.

Then there’s the twisting of the scripture:

“You know, scripture tells us to obey our secular leaders. So we’ve been told by the president, the governor not to congregate,” Cassidy said.

“Secondly, it would be presumptuous upon God’s grace if we were to say, ‘Listen, we’re going to fight that which we know to be true, that this virus has spread and that it can kill, and that we’re going to defy that. Go ahead, meet anyway.’ God gives wisdom. And when he gives wisdom, we’re supposed to obey it.

And so I don’t step in front of a speeding bullet. I don’t step in front of a speeding car,” Cassidy concluded. “I dodge both in the same way we should be dodging this virus.”

Health Workers Might Give Your Officers Your Home Address if You Test Positive for Coronavirus

Holy HIPAA violation:

Law enforcement officials say this information sharing — which is underway in Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida, and in select areas of North Carolina — will help keep officers and EMTs safe as they respond to calls at the homes of people who have been infected. The first responders can take additional precautions in those cases to avoid being exposed to the virus, state health departments and local police officials say.

Officers who are dispatched to an address where someone has tested positive can prepare by donning full protective gear, said Assistant Chief Brian Long of the Burlington, North Carolina, police department, where the local health department is sharing addresses of positive tests. For calls where the risk is less clear, such as when the caller indicates that someone at the home is ill, officers use their own judgment, based on the urgency of the call, on what precautions to take.

But they’re ONLY sharing your address. That’s all so it can’t be all that bad, right? After all you share so much more information when you call 911.

Yeah, when I call 911 *I* am giving up that information freely. One sheriff “had to browbeat his local health department” to give them the addresses:

Police across the country already collect as much information as possible from 911 callers to protect officers from potential exposure to the coronavirus. Many agencies have instructed 911 dispatchers to ask callers a series of questions to help determine if police, firefighters or paramedics who arrive might be exposed, according to interviews with police and surveys conducted by the Police Executive Research Forum, which is helping law enforcement share information on how to respond to the pandemic.

Those questions, which vary from agency to agency, include asking whether anyone in the caller’s household has tested positive or come into contact with anyone who has been or is under quarantine, is exhibiting symptoms of the coronavirus or has traveled recently. If the responses indicate a risk, police may be instructed to take a report by phone (in the case of nonemergencies), wear protective equipment or meet the complainants outside.

Some agencies have gone further, asking — or demanding — local health authorities to share addresses of people who have tested positive or are in quarantine, even in cases where there’s no statewide directive calling for information sharing. Those addresses are then entered into the Computer Aided Dispatch system, where they pop up if someone calls 911 from one of the listed addresses.

Mike Chitwood, the sheriff of Volusia County, Florida, said he had to browbeat his local health department, in Facebook posts and interviews with the local press, to give his agency addresses of people who had tested positive. The updated lists are sent to his agency nightly.

Man Removed by 10 Cops on Philadelphia Bus Because He Didn’t Wear a Mask That Isn’t Required

 

 
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