Armed militia members joined a serving law enforcement officer on stage at a rally against Michigan's stay-at-home order in Grand Rapids on Monday.
Barry County Sheriff Dar Leaf, who has said that he will selectively enforce Governor Gretchen Whitmer, spoke next to members of the Michigan Liberty Militia during the event, where he likened Whitmer's stay-at-home order an «arrest.»
«An unlawful... Еще arrest is when you do it unlawfully, so when you are ordered to your home, are you under arrest? Yeah, by definition you are,» he said.
Leaf continued: «The people who are enforcing this are getting hazard pay. 750 dollars a pay period. The Department of Corrections alone: 10 million dollars per pay period with all the corrections that are mandated in.»
The long-serving sheriff has links to the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA), a political group made up of local police officers, who believe that the US Constitution empowers local government authorities over federal and state bodies, an interpretation at odds with the general constitutional consensus.
Last week Whitmer said that protests across the state against measures to curb the COVID-19 pandemic make it more likely that the state will have to keep restrictions in place longer. The governor has repeatedly defended the measures she has taken as necessary to save lives and in line with scientific advice.
The US has been the hardest-hit nation by the coronavirus pandemic with over 1,5 million confirmed cases and over 90,000 deaths related to the virus, according to data compiled by John Hopkins University.