On Tuesday, a judge denied an order from Michigan’s left-wing Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office ordering an elderly barber to close his shop, deeming him and others alike “nonessential” as the nation battles the novel coronavirus.
As noted by The Daily Wire over the weekend, 77-year-old barber Karl Manke told the press “Jesus” would have to appear before him, or the cops would have to drag him out in handcuffs for him to close up after opening last Monday.
As of Tuesday, Manke remains open for business.
David A. Kallman, the barber’s attorney, confirmed to Michigan Live that Shiawassee County Circuit Court Judge Matthew Stewart turned down a complaint by AG’s to obtain a temporary restraining order against the business.
Manke has been issued two citations and could face up to 90 days behind bars and/or a $500 fine for reopening last week. “The next step now would depend on if the (Attorney General) appeals or not,” Kallman said, Michigan Live reported. “I don’t know if they’re going to, but for our point of view, the next step is two criminal charges pending against him in district court for misdemeanors.”
Kallman plans on filing motions to dismiss the two citations during a court hearing on June 23.
“I’d gone six weeks without a paycheck with no money coming in. I’ve been in this business 59 years. … I’m 77. I’ve always worked,” Manke said. “I’ve never looked for handouts. I don’t even know what they are. I had somebody call me and say why don’t you get on food stamps. I don’t want to get on food stamps. I want to work.”
Overcome with emotion, the beloved barber thanked fellow Michigan residents for their support.
“I came into this last Monday alone, thinking I’m going to swing in the wind alone,” he said. “I cannot believe the support that I’ve got. It’s overwhelming.”
Last week, Manke told Michigan Live there was no way he was closing his doors, citations or not. “Heavens yes, I’m staying open unless they take me out in handcuffs or Taser me,” the 77-year-old said.
“The demand for haircuts is high and he said he cannot wait for the shutdown to be lifted,” Manke explained to the outlet, noting that “he can’t afford to stay closed.”
“I can … run my business how I feel I should run it,” he argued. “To tell you the truth, I am scared but I didn’t really have any choice. I need to work through that fear and open up.”
“It is without question that we are in the middle of a public health crisis,” Ryan Jarvi, press secretary for AG Nessel, said in a statement issued Friday. “Both the governor, through her executive orders, and the DHHS Director, through his orders, are focused on protecting the public health of Michigan residents. Based upon our present knowledge of COVID-19, businesses that require close contact – like Mr. Manke’s barbershop – present one of the highest risks for spreading the virus, not just to the city of Owosso, but to the state of Michigan as a whole.”
The AG’s press secretary said Manke was “given every opportunity to voluntarily comply with the governor’s Executive Order and the order of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Director.”
Jarvi claimed the elderly barber’s business was “an imminent danger to the public health and ordered to be shut down by the DHHS Director.”
“Mr. Manke’s actions are not a display of harmless civil disobedience,” Jarvi claimed. “His actions are counterproductive to the collective effort businesses and communities everywhere have made to slow the spread of COVID-19, and by opening the doors to his business, he’s putting the lives of many more Michiganders at risk.”
Kallman noted Tuesday that people are finally getting fed-up with Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s inconsistent and excessive coronavirus-related orders.
“We’re seeing this around the state, where people are finally saying enough is enough,” the attorney said. “If you can walk down the aisles at Walmart…you can walk down the aisles at a church, you can walk down the aisles at Karl’s barber shop and practice the same physical distancing, hand washing, all the things we’ve been hearing on and on.”
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