A confrontation outside a Fresno, CA, Waffle Shop last Sunday is becoming the latest sensational lesson in the upside-down ethics of COVID-19 crackdowns, the forced closure of what politicians claim are “non-essential” businesses, and the tyranny of government health and “social distancing” commands.
According to The NY Daily News:
A California police chief is pleading for 'respect' after an angry crowd clashed with one of his officers at a Waffle Shop restaurant that opened in defiance of a coronavirus stay-at-home order.
But that’s not all that happened.
As video shot by a waiting customer reveals, about 20 people were pleasantly and patiently waiting their turns to enter the establishment -- the owner of which had set a limit on the number of diners he would seat inside – when two blue-uniformed state “officials” with masks and clipboards demanded to get past them.
The customers told them to wait in line, like everyone else, so the agents of the state left.
A few minutes later, a Fresno cop appeared with the clipboard team behind him and demanded to enter. But, as they had with the “Code Enforcement” agents, the waiting customers told him, “no” -- at which point recollections of events vary. Some witnesses say the policeman pushed a woman, while the Daily News reports the officer “knocks into one woman, causing her to stumble.”
Moments later, the officer cuffs the man at the door and pulls out his yellow Taser, according to video posted by Richard Tilley, a supporter of the Waffle Shop’s owner.
And, again, phrasing and spin become a factor. So, let’s look at the words of Fresno Police Sgt. Walter Boston, because even he seems unclear of what happened or what the agents of the state were doing there:
8:45 this morning, Code Enforcement is doing their… uh… their duties. They went out to the shop, there, to, uh, contact the owner, explain to them that, uh, they’re still in violation of whatever ordinance, or sections, or whatever they’re using here to… uh… you know… ‘There’s no social distancing… You’re not allowed to be open…' Or whatever it is, Code Enforcement’s there to do their job and issue a citation…
Again. If you’re part of an armed, tax-funded group of people, one member of which ends up confronting peaceful folks simply waiting to enter a restaurant and bumping into one of the women there, then handcuffing one of the men and forcing him into a cruiser, wouldn’t it be incumbent on you and your team to know what in the world was being “enforced”? Or is it that the police can be called out to support anything agents of the state want to do, and no communication about lawfulness, ethics, morality, or constitutionality need occur? Are there other activities the police assume they’re just supposed to act as “muscle” to support?
Then there’s the question of what the civilian did and what the officer did to that civilian.
After the officer pushed the woman (and this is clear), the civilian video shows him move into contact with the tall elderly man, who uses the back of his left arm to push the officer away from him and the entrance. Then, the policeman grabs the man’s left wrist, twists it behind his arm and begins to cuff him.
In the official police video, the police officer appears to say that the man “assaulted” him.
Sgt. Boston says, “At this time, we, uh, just detained the individual, let things cool off. I came out. I talked to several individuals…”
So, one has to ask… Was the man arrested or “detained”? Usually, cuffs are associated with an arrest. But if the man was released later…what, exactly, did the police do?
Sgt. Boston explains – kind of.
…The case will be submitted to the District Attorney’s office for review.
Which seems to indicate that the man was arrested, and could be prosecuted. In fact, an interviewer asked Sgt. Boston about that, asking, "Okay, so, he would be cited for battery of an officer or—?”
Said the Sergeant:
He would have been cited, but in this particular case, we’re gonna go ahead and just submit it to the D.A.’s office and let them make the final review on it.
Some might call that prudent. Some might call that a dodge when the police need not have held the man at all.
Some might look at it more deeply.
Fresno Police Chief Andy Hall, who has admitted he doesn't believe the customer's "assault" was intentional, told local media that an internal affairs investigation has been opened up into the officer's actions. But to get to the real heart of this “Code Enforcement” confrontation in COVID Clampdown America, let’s strip things away.
Imagine that every person involved in this were dressed as civilians, no blue uniforms, no badges – just people. The people inside the building – the folks running it and those eating – are all acting voluntarily, of their own free will. So far, so good. No one is harming another. Everyone has chosen. Market exchange is happening. No problems.
Now, imagine that the owner offers a stipulation to those wanting to enter. He is seating people in certain ways that he feels is safe. Customers can enter under those conditions, or do something else with their time. Numerous people agree to his conditions to enter his private property, and they wait in line, peacefully, voluntarily.
Then, two others approach and demand to get past them. Not only do they demand to get past, they are there representing other people who want to threaten the business owner, shut him down, and demand money from him for not doing as they commanded him to do, even though he is not harming anyone.
Imagine that the people waiting say, “Wait in line,” as video shows, but the two refuse, so the others bar them entry and there is no complaint about that from the owner.
Then imagine these two get a third man, a man with a gun and a Taser and handcuffs, and he demands entry, possibly pushes someone when he is told no, then cuffs another person who has been waiting his turn in line.
Who would appear to be the aggressive parties?
And when politicians order places closed, or else “Code Enforcement” agents will come to fine the owner – which the government did, to the tune of $5,000 – which party is aggressive and which is peaceful?
These important questions can be answered by each of us individually. But they are vital food for thought, in a world where peaceful entrepreneurs are now forbidden from offering real food to peaceful, willing customers.