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Shiawassee County Sheriff says he won't enforce the stay-home order

Michigan State Police visit Owosso barbershop that opened against governor's orders
Posted at 8:10 PM, May 11, 2020

OWOSSO, Mich. — One Mid-Michigan sheriff says his office will not be enforcing the governor's stay-home order.

This comes as a business in his jurisdiction has received a lot of attention for re-opening.

Shiawassee County Sheriff Brian Begole posted on Facebook May 11, saying his office does not have enough deputies to enforce the governor's executive orders.

Sheriff Begole did not want to go on camera, but undersheriff Robert Brancheau told FOX 47 there have been some misunderstandings since that post.

A crowd gathered outside Karl Manke's barbershop in Owosso Monday - vowing to stand up for the small business owner.

Michigan home guard, Daniel Brewer said, "If we have enough people to block entry and people are willing to be arrested, then we'll do that. If not then we'll let him be arrested and we'll organize another protest at the jailhouse with full battle rattle."

Manke's barbershop has been open for a week despite receiving at least two citations.

In a Facebook post, Sheriff Brian Begole wrote - "With limited resources, staffing and facilities, our priority focus will be on enforcing duly passed laws for the protection of Shiawassee County citizens."

The post has more than 1,000 comments - some supporting Sheriff Begole, others saying it makes them feel unsafe.

Danny Miller, who supports the Executive Order said, "You were elected by all of us, not just Democrats, Independents and Republicans, by all of the people. You can't just pick and choose. That's not your stand."

Undersheriff Brancheau said the sheriff's office will investigate complaints and then pass them along to the attorney general's office.

He said there's some gray area regarding whether or not it's legal to arrest someone violating the order.

According to a spokesperson for the Michigan State Police, Owosso Police would be the agency to make the arrest if it comes to that.

FOX 47 reached out to the Owosso Police Department for a statement but did not receive a response.

Karl Manke's attorney, David Kallman, also spoke Monday afternoon.

"If you can walk down the aisles at Walmart it would seem to me you could walk down the aisles at a church," said Kallman. "You could walk down the aisles in Karl's barbershop and practice the same physical distancing, hand washing, all the things we've been hearing on and on right?"

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