Sheriff of Calif. county: Not our job to enforce face-mask rules

Jim Rafferty, owner of Kelly’s Korner — one of Orange County’s best-known sports bars — chats with a regular on May 16 in Placentia.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Saying that adult Americans are fully capable of taking disease-transmission measures into their own hands, and that it is not a matter for uniformed police officers, a California sheriff is vowing that his department will look the other way when it comes to enforcing a divisive, highly questionable governmental order that residents wear face masks in all public situations during the coronavirus pandemic.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes announced his stance on May 26 while speaking to the county board of supervisors. The county, like others around the U.S., recently passed an order requiring its residents to put on masks in places where they can’t stay at least 6 feet apart, the Los Angeles Times reports.

“We are not the mask police – nor do I intend to be the mask police,” Barnes said. “I think what we have seen repeatedly throughout the community is Orange County residents acting responsibly.”

Barnes went on to say that the locals are “adults,” and because of that, “they can take the protective measures as they see fit.”

“We have not dealt with these issues through enforcement, and I will direct my staff not to direct any enforcement toward the… mask requirement,” he added, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Orange County, as of Tuesday, has seen 5,578 coronavirus infections among its residents.


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