Police agencies in Michigan likely won't enforce emergency orders

Posted at 4:19 AM, Oct 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-05 04:19:33-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer appeared on CNN Sunday morning, criticizing the State Supreme Court ruling that wiped away months of executive orders dealing with COVID-19, causing confusion over what is and isn't the law.

Nessel will no longer enforce emergency orders following Supreme Court decision

“It’s been confusing for me since day one with a lot of the things going back and forth,” said Cornelius Strong Jr, as he walked outside a restaurant Greektown.

The Michigan Association of Chiefs of Police are still working to figure out exactly what to enforce, but after Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she won’t enforce the orders, it’s likely they won’t either.

“We’re so early in this because the ruling just came out on Friday, that much of this will have to be worked out over the coming days and weeks,” said the association's Executive Director Robert Stevenson. "I imagine that police departments throughout the state will also not be enforcing the emergency order just as the attorney general has indicated her office is going to do.”

However, that doesn’t mean police are done dealing with the pandemic, as businesses still have the right to require masks and social distancing.

"Individual businesses can do what they want to do. They can require masks if they still want to require masks, and we ask the public to please honor the wishes of the individual businesses," Stevenson said.

"We don't want any of the tragedies we’ve seen in several locations around the state where people have taken exception to businesses requiring masks and violence has followed," he added. "We don’t want that.”

Some counties like Oakland County have decided to make their own orders requiring masks, and Stevenson said it's still to be determined who enforces those rules.

"As these orders are starting to come out from various counties, we will have to look at them and see what authority the police have to enforce those or not enforce those,” he said,

No matter what the law says, some Michiganders say for now the masks will stay on.

“Yeah, I'm still gonna wear a mask," Strong said. "Better safe than sorry.”