Sheriff Magrini: The Law, The Constitution, Enforcement and Freedom

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Sheriff Eric Magrini was once again connected to a local disturbance Tuesday when the Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting was interrupted by a crowd with a bullhorn insisting “we the people of Shasta County… appeal to our Shasta County Board of Supervisors to protect our constitutional rights.”

Magrini appears briefly, on a video of the event, posted by the Redding Patriots. He’s grinning widely just after the bullhorn speech and tells the group’s spokesperson, Elissa McEuen, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

If Magrini seems chummy with protesters, it’s probably because he is. At a time when tensions are high and conservative Shasta County residents are pushing local leaders to reopen the County, his decision (as the head of local law enforcement) not to enforce the law has gained him a new fan following.

One of the most well-publicized examples of Magrini’s unwillingness to enforce COVID-19 restrictions was during the Cottonwood Mother’s Day Rodeo, which attracted approximately 2000 participants who mingled, apparently without concern for social distancing, and in obvious defiance of Governor Newsom’s orders to stay at home. They did so without fear, as Sheriff Magrini had informed the public prior to the Rodeo that he would not be enforcing the Governor’s orders during the event.

Never mind that attending the event clearly violated the law, even according to a well-known and respected law enforcement organization, the California Peace Officers Association (CPOA). In its recommendations to law enforcement officers, CPOA cites California Government Code 8567 , which says essentially, that in a state of emergency the Governor can make orders and regulations, and that these orders and regulations constitute law.

And never mind that the Sheriff is required to enforce these orders, again, according to California law and cited by the CPOA, stating the Sheriff “shall” (must) suppress gatherings that are against the law and investigate public offenses which have been committed.

Had he suppressed the gathering and/or investigated these public offenses and pressed criminal charges on attendees, the law states violators could have received a misdemeanor, punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and/or a jail sentence not to exceed 6 months. (Keep in mind that such a misdemeanor offense is similar to the “low level” crimes the homeless are routinely charged with in Redding for such criminal acts as illegal camping.)

While a clear reading of the laws above indicates that Sheriff Magrini neglected his sworn duty to uphold the law, this seemingly obvious truth is muddied by what many will recognize as accepted practice. A review of both law enforcement resources and anecdotal experience indicates that members of law enforcement do not, in practice, always uphold the law, but instead routinely choose which laws to enforce, deciding whether to push in and look for evidence of a crime where none is yet clear (as often happens with the homeless), or pull back and choose not to cite an obvious crime (perhaps more common with speeding or red-light violations.) In fact, such choosing of which laws to enforce appears to be almost a necessity of the occupation.

In other words, despite the fact that the law clearly forbids the rodeo and similar large gatherings, and despite the fact that the law requires the sheriff to investigate it, his failure to enforce the law, or investigate the offenses, seems to fall under the normal discretion afforded him as a member of law enforcement.

What’s different in this case is the reason he gives for not enforcing the law: not just his professional judgment, but the protection of people’s rights to life and liberty. A bold appeal to the constitutional rights of the people he serves. Magrini’s actions have inspired, alternately, admiration or disgust, depending on one’s perspective. Supporters organized a rally in support of the Sheriff, while detractors published articles. Almost everyone ranted on Facebook about the topic, including Beni Johnson, wife of Bill Johnson, head pastor at our local megachurch, Bethel.

And while there’s a multitude of opinions on Magrini’s actions (or lack thereof) there is no doubt on where he stands.

Donnell Ewert, head of Shasta County’s Health and Human Services Agency, shockingly, succinctly and openly stated what most of guessed about Magrini with regard to enforcement at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting: “The sheriff has made clear his disinterest in citing those who violate the (stay at home) order.”

Folks, he’s not going to be enforcing these laws, Ewert signals, we know it, you might as well be clear on it, too.

It’s a brilliant move by Magrini. His choice not to enforce the law has gained him the kind of political attention the sheriff of a heavily conservative county can only hope for. Hand-picked by his predecessor Tom Bosenko, and appointed by the Board of Supervisors, Sheriff Magrini has not yet faced an election. With his first run for office still ahead, he knows the votes he’s gathering during this pandemic will matter later.

While the title of “sheriff” might sound outdated or bumbling ( it derives from shire-reeve or shire-keeper, the oldest appointment by the British crown ), America’s sheriffs hold surprising power. In California, their role is established by the Constitution and cannot be eliminated. And they are remarkably hard to control. Unlike the police, who serve at the will of their city council and city manager, sheriffs don’t answer to their county board of supervisors, whose only recourse, should they be unhappy with their sheriff, is to limit his budget.

This means sheriffs work directly for the voters in a role that is both political and peace-keeping. And in conservative Shasta County, a stand for the constitutional rights of the people and against the dictates of liberal Governor Newsom is a pretty safe stance for a sheriff to take.

But Magrini is certainly not alone. With his recent words and actions, he joins sheriffs across the country who have taken a stand to defend what they see as the constitutional rights of their constituents, even when those rights stand in opposition to the law. Magrini’s statements, if anything, have been remarkably soft-spoken and understated in comparison to others. Example: Idaho’s Sheriff Daryl Wheeler.

Sheriffs like Wheeler, who support what they see as the constitutional rights of their citizens over the enforcement of existing law, have sometimes been referred to as “constitutional sheriffs. ” Prior to COVID-19, so-called constitutional sheriffs took stands on issues like land regulation, gun restrictions, and asset forfeiture. Some have organized under a group called the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association. (CSPOA)

I was unable to find a list of sheriffs associated with this organization but a report published by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) names Siskiyou County Sheriff Jon Lopey as a former member. Sheriff Lopey gained national attention when he was accused by the Hmong population in his county of organized voter intimidation. According to the SPLC, Lopey has left the CSPOA due to their increasingly extremist views. A link to the CSPOA’s enlightening “Vet Your Sheriff” survey can be found here.

Although Magrini has certainly not advertised membership in the CSPOA, and to my knowledge, has no affiliation, he speaks a remarkably similar language to that spoken by constitutional sheriffs. Discussing his decision not to enforce Governor Newsom’s stay at home order, Magrini told the Record Searchlight , “…I’m not wanting to come in and trample on your constitutional rights or take away life or liberties or things awarded to us, but we’re all partners in this together; we all live in the same community.”

Translation? Magrini, like constitutional sheriffs nationwide, will prioritize what he sees as citizens constitutional rights, above the law. At least certain kinds of citizens and their particular kinds of constitutional rights.

What do I think is most wrong with this picture? Not the concern for the constitution. Not necessarily the failure to enforce the law. Not even the uber-powerful nature of the sheriff’s position.

What’s wrong with this picture is the power it gives law enforcement to decide which laws matter, and whose constitutional rights they will choose to protect. When it comes to quality-of-life crimes, it’s usually law enforcement prioritizing the quality of life of housed citizens above that of the homeless. In the new pandemic era it’s about whether we will protect the rights of concerned mask-wearing, social-distancing citizens to not be exposed to those who do neither.

“Live and let live” seems to be the cry for freedom. “If you’re so afraid”, multiple Facebook posts rage, “then STAY HOME!” Remarkably, similar reasoning when applied to the homeless would never be considered. They don’t get to live however they want. We shouldn’t have to stay home to avoid them. We have rights to a blight-free landscape without them trampling on it with their dirty, shopping-cart-pushing existence.

I tried to picture Redding police delivering Magrini’s lines about not wanting to come in and trample on your constitutional rights or take away life or liberties, to the local homeless community, who of course, have all the same rights as any of us, but my imagination failed me.

As usual, it comes down to whose quality of life we will protect and how we will choose to protect it.

Sheriff Eric Magrini has decided; have you?

Annelise Pierce
Annelise Pierce is fascinated by the intersection of people and policy. She has a special interest in criminal justice, poverty, mental health and education. Her long and storied writing career began at age 11 when she won the Louisa May Alcott Foundation's Gothic Romance short story competition. (Spoiler alert - both hero and heroine die.) Annelise welcomes your (civil) interactions at AnnelisePierce@anewscafe.com
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134 Responses

  1. Avatar Margy says:

    Beautifully written

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Margy, thank you! Topics like this are so complex and multi faceted it’s hard to tame them into a readable length. My goal is to help those who support Magrini to feel understood while also challenging if/how this behavior can be applied equitably and fairly in society. I probably did this very imperfectly.

  2. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    This has nothing to do with the article, or maybe it does, I can’t help but notice similarities between Constitutional Sheriffs and sports officials, especially basketball. I umpired softball and there were times I and others would ignore violations to keep the game going. This really shows in basketball because violations occur on almost every play. Just like other sports some game conditions can change how it is enforced. Two teams that hate each other and show it have to be dealt with different than two teams that are there for the game. An unruly crowd can also change how to officiate the game. I have dealt with both instances and it is not easy.
    But, like I said this has nothing to do with the article I just saw the similarities.
    Another good article Annelise .

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Bruce — I reffed scholastic sports while in college. Junior high coaches were the worst. There was a never-ending battle with coaches who would scream at us on every play: “REF!!! THAT WAS ILLEGAL MOTION! YOU HAVE TO CALL THAT!!!” Or, “JESUS REF!!! THAT’S A CARRY! YOU CAN’T LET THEM PLAY BACKYARD VOLLYBALL!!!”

      We refs understood that you had to let something go on almost every play or there would be no game. You also had to call an occasional illegal motion or carry, or they’d never learn. And you had to balance the calls, even when one coach was a gold-plated @$$hole and the other was a sweetheart. It was tricky.

      My dad, who had been a referee and coach forever, taught me early on how to run a coach who wouldn’t listen to that logic. Warn him a couple of times, and if he was still being loud and abusive with his complaints, walk up to him and say, “Coach, I’ve warned you twice. You’re ejected from the game.” WHAT! PROFANITY! DISBELIEF! BITCH! HARUMPF!…. “Coach, I just ejected you and you’re still yelling at me, so I’m starting my timer. If I can still see you in three minutes, your team forfeits the game.”

      I only had to run a few coaches over quite a few years. Never had to forfeit a game.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Excellent analogy Bruce and Steve. Apparently both refs and LE officers have the difficult duty of choosing when to enforce the law. Fairness is paramount. I well remember Little League games games where we knew In the first few minutes that the ref had the other teams best interest at heart. This is my greatest concern in my story today. Liberty and justice applied fairly for all.

        • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

          Yes on the fairness issue! Aside from sport refs, employees can sniff out a supervisor who doesn’t treat staff equitably.

  3. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Thank you Annelise. for this wonderful article. And I’ll have to agree with John, Sheriff Eric Magrini does indeed seem like a perfect Stalinist – tRump – Pro lawlessness pawn, certainly not a good fit for anyplace in California but Redding and perhaps Yreka.

  4. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    Prioritizing constitutional rights above gubernatorial dictates is fine—that’s why we have a Bill of Rights. Those basic rights are supposed to prevail above national, state, and local laws.

    The problem with Magrini and his ilk is that the Constitution also establishes a framework for determining if laws violate the Bill of Rights. You’re supposed to challenge such laws in court. We have a system of government to sort it out. Checks and balances.

    These constitutional sheriffs and their followers (I’m not doing them the dignity of calling them “supporters”) apparently believe sheriffs to be the first and last word on what’s constitutional and what’s not. Guys like Magrini see themselves as Sheriff Joe-types—100% in charge, answering to the majority of voters in their counties and no others. These are petty LE tyrants who believe they get to unilaterally decide what’s constitutional, based on which way the local political winds are blowing.

    There is absolutely nothing constitutional about anointing local strongmen to decide what’s constitutional and what’s not, based largely on popular opinion and future campaign fodder.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Steve: this is very much the kind of discussion I hoped my article would elicit. I am concerned about the same thing, that constitutional sheriffs believe they are above some laws and have the right to decide which laws they are above. If so, why have the complex structure of government and the courts we have? (perhaps to save them time, they can’t deal with everything.) Would love more discussion on this topic if you or others have it. Particularly discussion which helps those who are in support of Magrini’s actions to grapple with the eventual outcomes of supporting this kind of behavior. I hate preaching to the choir. I’m always looking to actually grow and learn through both writing and interacting with folks in the comments. 🙂 Thanks for your thoughtful response.

  5. Avatar Linda Cooper says:

    We had just visited the site where our home once stood after the Carr Fire. At an intersection, the camera flashed. My husband received his first ever traffic ticket for not coming to a complete stop while turning right on a red light. The camera image showed the cars on the left behind the lines. Someone suggested that he approach the court, and his fine was slightly reduced. Too rattled, and living out of a suitcase, my husband didn’t attend traffic school, and the insurance is increased for three years. Now I’m wondering how Sheriff Magrini would have decided on behalf of the court.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Linda, not sure what a red light ticket has to do with Sheriff Magrini. He has no authority over the red light program. But I can tell you from my Shasta Grand Jury investigation of the program, that the camera activates only if the vehicle is going 11 mph or over. So that is more than ‘not coming to a complete stop’. I was shown a video of a pedestrian being struck by a car that didn’t come to a complete stop while turning right on a red light. Turning right on a red going 11 mph is a dangerous move and worthy off being ticketed. As a disclaimer, my wife just got one at the Hilltop/Cypress intersection. She complained bitterly until we pulled up the video, and it showed the light was red for 1.3 seconds when she went through. That was dangerous and she deserved her ticket.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        Linda, the Redflex camera traps are primarily due to Redding’s delinquency

        The only responsibility Shasta County has is in that the Grand Jury has twice covered up the scandal in its reports.

        It is typical of Mr. Cook’s conduct on this site that he continues to brag about his role in promoting COR’s collaboration with this criminal organization, which has caused so much damage to so many people like you, and to the regional economy in general.

        I’m reposing my long previous comment on the Redding/Redflex scandal below:

        Both ANC and the RS reported on the Redflex contract renewal decision by the city council three years ago:

        “…It is safe to say Redding’s eight red-light cameras are not the city’s most popular feature. Unfortunately for grumbling drivers who got dinged $500 for a rolling right-hand turn or another infraction, the people who like them carry some clout: the police chief and all five city council members.Following the recommendation of Police Chief Rob Paoletti, the Redding City Council on Tuesday voted 5-0 to renew a four-year contract with Glendale, Ariz.-based Redflex Traffic Systems, the company that operates the cameras in Redding…

        ”https://anewscafe.com/2017/05/17/redding/redding-city-council-renews-unpopular-red-light-camera-contract-and-bids-city-manager-farewell/

        https://www.redding.com/story/news/local/2017/05/16/live-redding-council-talks-red-light-cameras-city-manager-post/101745818/

        But neither story included any mention by Redding elected officials or city employees of what just might, perhaps, have been of interest to the citizens of Redding, the truly impressive record of Redflex’s extensive programs to bribe elected officials and government employees to secure contracts nationwide, during the entire period which it was partnering with Redding to issue red light camera tickets. I found only one brief comment to the ANC story, mentioning it.

        I had already known from my own experience Redflex was a real bottom-feeder, but check out:

        “Thursday, August 20, 2015Former Redflex CEO Pleads Guilty To Corruption In Awarding Of City Of Chicago’s Red-Light Camera ContractsCHICAGO — The former chief executive officer of Chicago’s first red-light camera vendor pleaded guilty to a federal bribery charge Thursday.

        As the CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems Inc., KAREN FINLEY funneled cash and other personal financial benefits to a City of Chicago official and his friend, knowing that the payments would help persuade the city to award red-light camera contracts to Redflex, according to a plea agreement. The benefits included golf trips, hotels and meals, as well as hiring the city official’s friend as a highly compensated contractor for Redflex, according to the plea agreement.The benefits flowed over a nine-year period, from 2003 to 2011, during which time the city expanded the Digital Automated Red Light Enforcement Program by awarding millions of dollars in contracts to Phoenix-based Redflex, the plea agreement states…”

        https://www.justice.gov/usao-ndil/pr/former-redflex-ceo-pleads-guilty-corruption-awarding-city-chicago-s-red-light-cameraRed Light Traffic Camera CEO Sentenced for Corruption in Ohio and Illinoispublished in Prison Legal News March, 2017, page 28

        The former CEO of Redflex Traffic Systems, Inc. was sentenced on October 19, 2016 to 14 months in federal prison for a bribes-for-contracts scheme in Ohio. Karen Finley, who was ousted from her position with the company that provides automated red light camera ticketing systems, was also sentenced in November to 30 months in prison for a much larger – to the tune of $2 million – bribery scandal in Chicago, Illinois. She will serve the terms concurrently.The long-running corruption involving Redflex and Chicago public officials was first exposed by the Chicago Tribune in 2012. After entering into a contract with RedFlex, the city’s red light camera system soon grew to the largest in the nation, with 384 cameras that generated more than $600 million in traffic fines and fees. No elected officials have been charged in the case, but several collaborators were prosecuted. John Bills, then the no. 2 official in then-Mayor Richard Daley’s Department of Transportation, steered contracts to Redflex in exchange for cash and gifts throughout the 10-year conspiracy. He received 10 years in prison for his role in the scheme, in which he received cash payments, vacations, a Mercedes and a condo in Arizona, among other bribes.Martin O’Malley, a consultant for Redflex, acted as a “bagman”; he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six months in prison. Ohio lobbyist John Raphael admitted he had threatened Redflex executives with the loss of contracts if they refused to make political contributions; he was sentenced to 15 months in prison plus one year of supervised release and a $5,000 fine in June 2016.After the scandal was revealed, Ohio lawmakers banned red light cameras. In Chicago, Mayor Rahm Emanuel canceled the city’s contract with Redflex, awarded the red light ticketing system contract to another company, and appointed Northwestern University to study the camera program and recommend corrective actions. Redflex’s automated red light camera system has been criticized in multiple jurisdictions for incorrectly ticketing drivers and serving as a source of revenue rather than a means of ensuring traffic safety…”

        https://www.prisonlegalnews.org/news/2017/mar/9/red-light-traffic-camera-ceo-sentenced-corruption-ohio-and-illinois/

        Does it really seem plausible that the Redding Police Chief, the City Council, and all other staff involved didn’t Know about Redflex’s extensive criminal history at the time of the contract renewal?If it was known, Redding had no problem continuing its partnership with this criminal organization, and the fact were not even worthy of public disclosure?

        • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

          Ed, thank you for the time with your enlightenment on this matter. I will share with dear husband.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Sorry I could not be of more help.

            Redding’s traffic light camera’s are designed by Redflex, a criminal corporation, to trap massive numbers of drivers in order to produce revenue for

            Redflex learned that by bribing and/or duping gullible local officials (and in the local case, Grand Jury members) it could produce a massive revenue stream by criminalizing normal driver behavior.

            The only question is, since the character of its operation has been so thoroughly reveled (the articles I posted above are only a few brief examples) why any Redding official or citizen could continue to support such corrupt behavior by Redflex under the guise of “law enforcement”.

      • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

        Doug, yeah, my example was dumb. Not clear at all. You helped me try and clarify. I was trying to make a point that there are laws in place, that should be applied fairly. I was creatively wondering if Sheriff Magrini had been representing the court on the day of my husband’s visit, and my husband was wearing an American flag pin, etc., if he would have been exonerated. Please pay this no mind. Sometimes the poet in me escapes, and there’s no delete option.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          I wouldn’t consider it a dumb example…I see now what you are getting at. I regret bringing up the red light camera again…a little advice, I wouldn’t bother bringing up Mr Marek’s rant to your husband..little in it is true, especially Redding’s red light policies. Read the Grand Jury investigations on the program. It is quite informative, it took us many months of digging into it. I’m rather proud of the work we did. 2008/09 and 2011/12 were the years we did the reports. They are easily accessible.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            REAL trumpists always seem to take abject pride in their most humiliating failures.

          • Avatar jeff says:

            This is in reply to Mr. Merak’s post below: Sir, what does this comment add to this conversation; other than an attempt to tear one down?

          • Avatar Randy says:

            Doug, how about being specific about what is not true in Mr. Marek’s post?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Randy…I have been guilty too often of going off on tangents and changing the subject of a particular thread. I’m not going to do it here. If you are interested in the Red Light program as it is run in Redding, I urge you to read the Shasta County Grand Jury reports, 2008/09 and 2011/12. They were both extensive investigations that lay out in great detail how the program is operated. This is not the time or place for it.

        • Avatar Randy says:

          I think this article is all about the integrity of local LE and the ‘red light’ issue is part of that equation.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Sorry Randy, not taking the bait.

          • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

            I want to thank the city of Redding for contributing to our economy down here in Arizona by using Redflex.

          • Avatar Randy says:

            Doug, “not taking the bait”? What does ‘bait’ have to do with being clear about your accusations? You accused Ed of posting false information so any honorable person would at least identify the ‘false information’.

  6. Avatar Damon Miller says:

    Magrini and his supporters, of course, are the same people who say after a cop summarily executes an unarmed black man, “If he had just followed orders, he’d still be alive.” The whole sheriff system needs to be reformed because it’s just legal cover for authoritarians enforcing the white patriarchy.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Damon, those words, “if he had just followed orders” have rung in my ears over the last few weeks. The double standard and hypocrisy of insisting some people follow the rules while others may blatantly disregard them is what makes me most angry.

  7. Avatar don cohen says:

    I remember justice Marshall saying something about “your right to swing your fist ending where my nose begins” seems to apply here

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Don: an excellent quote on a topic I think we are all grappling with. How do we balance our rights? I’ve been working on a piece on this and you may see your quote appear there. 🙂

  8. Avatar Archer says:

    Nothing like a good ‘ol game of Russian Roulette.

    My question for the Sheriff and his followers: Does this mean Healthcare Workers can refuse to treat you when you present to the hospital with Covid-19?
    Since we are talking about constitutional rights and freedoms and deciding who/what we want to represent – in this case, the health and safety of healthcare workers.

    Let’s be fair, after all.

    • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

      Let’s be fair. My daughter works at St Joseph Hospital in Phoenix and when someone, tested at the door, shows COVI-19 results they are sent to a ERs set up to handle COVI cases so as not to infect St Joseph patients. Doesn’t Redding have special hospitals to handle COVI-19?

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Redding had a clinic ready to go at the Civic Center, but it wasn’t needed with our only 34 cases of Covid-19 cases in the county. As of today, only 8 Covid-19 patients are still hospitalized. According to the Shasta County Health and Human Services, we have had 2 confirmed case in the last 30 days…both who didn’t show Covid-19 symptoms and were not hospitalized. So no, we don’t need a special hospital.

        • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

          Doug, that Civic Center was an ICU setup for non COVI patients in case the hospitals were over run, Arizona did the same with extra ICU spaces. As you pointed out they were not needed and have been closed. A point of contention I have not seen here on Anews but elsewhere is that Advance Redding is billing just shy of half as million dollars for expenses caused by the ICU use at the Civic.

  9. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    I guess I have been cooped up inside for too long, because I am scratching my head trying to figure out what exactly the Sheriff did wrong. Is it because it was a conservative group that was protesting? California is a huge state…one size doesn’t fit all. Modoc County has had no confirmed cases of Covid-19. Do you want to treat Modoc the same as LA County? Shouldn’t the power be delegated to local officials to determine when is the proper time to relax restrictions?

    I’m not sure what you expected the Sheriff to do, have them all arrested? If it was an anti-Trump protest, would you feel the same? There are governors in this country that are enjoying being in total control of your life. They do not plan to relinquish the power they received from this pandemic anytime soon, if ever. Politicians will always seize the maximum amount of power they can. That is why they went into politics in the first place. We can’t just toss aside the constitution, the protesters didn’t enter the chambers. The protesters said their piece and I assumed they left. Again, what did you want the Sheriff to do?

    A number of years back, ‘Occupy Redding’ protesters stormed a BOS meeting I was attending. They were allowed to do their thing and they left, LE did not interfere. Again…what exactly did the Sheriff do that was wrong in this incident?

    I

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      Hi Doug. Glad you’re here. It’s good to have your voice in this community. My article actually doesn’t point out anything the Sheriff did as wrong. I focused on helping to educate people that he was both not really enforcing the law and potentially very within his rights not to do so. I also pointed out how choosing which laws to enforce can become political very quickly which is a significant concern of mine. Steve in his comment above, draws a conclusion after reading the article which is very valid and thoughtful. He says: “The problem with Magrini and his ilk is that the Constitution also establishes a framework for determining if laws violate the Bill of Rights. You’re supposed to challenge such laws in court. We have a system of government to sort it out. Checks and balances.” I’d love to hear your response to this.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      The usual straw-man questions and absurd hypotheticals.

      What do we want the Sheriff to do? Let’s start with what he shouldn’t do. Shasta County is an entity of the state. The Sheriff works for the County. Maybe he should start by refraining from acting as though his authority outranks that of the state’s elected Governor—if he’s got a legal issue with the Governor’s directives, take it to a judge. Instead of strutting around like a grinning tin-pot Napoleon.

      • Avatar Anne Thrope says:

        Taking it up with a judge is hard to do when the governor closes the courts.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I’m just guessing here, but I would think that alleged violations of the U.S. Constitution would be addressed to the federal courts. And I would further think that the governor has no authority to close the federal courts. And to the best of my knowledge the Northern District Court of California remains open, though to accommodate the epidemic it’s now possible to file many petitions online.

  10. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    I guess what I am struggling with, Annelise, is that the Sheriff be characterized as a Constitutional Sheriff is somehow a negative attribute. I would expect my Sheriff to follow the Constitution. I looked at the CSPOA and read what they stand for…I don’t see anything scary there. But as you said, there is no evidence that the Sheriff is affiliated with this group, so I’m not sure why bring it up.

    You quoted the Sheriff as saying, “…I’m not wanting to come in and trample on your constitutional rights or take away life or liberties or things awarded to us, but we’re all partners in this together; we all live in the same community.” I can’t imagine you have a problem with this statement. You can’t really, can you? I am for one proud of Sheriffs all over the country that are standing up to these power hungry politicians, and there are many Sheriffs that are doing so.

    The Sheriff did not interfere with a protest that is guaranteed under the 1st Amendment…pandemic or not. Exactly what I would expect from a Sheriff that swore to uphold the Constitution.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      :::sigh:::

      As Doug well knows, the title “constitutional sheriff” has a much narrower and radicalized meaning than “a sheriff who upholds the Constitution.” The term is so radicalized that the sheriff of Siskiyou County felt it necessary to distance himself from the movement.

      Doug’s not struggling with that, regardless of what he says. The only thing he’s struggling with is finding a way to be a contrarian about the term in a way that doesn’t make him look silly.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Doug: Many people view constitutional sheriffs as heroes and perhaps you are one of them. Others have never heard of the term and my article offers them a chance to learn and engage with this topic. If you wonder my thoughts about the Sheriff’s statement, a quick reread of my article should make clear that it’s the double standard I worry about, more than the statement itself. You mention the Sheriff standing up to power hungry politicians, so perhaps its worth repeating here that the Sheriff himself is a politician and certainly has been exerting his power, so to say that he is standing up to that kind of behavior does make me smile a little. Let’s be honest, he’s playing the game too.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        To be honest, Annelise. This is the first I have heard the phrase ‘constitutional sheriffs’. I have never heard of the CSPOA either. So I don’t view them as heroes or not, I am neutral on the subject. But nevertheless, you made the statement that the Sheriff does not appear to be part of this group, so I’m not sure why it is coming up. Since we agree that the Sheriff did nothing wrong in his interaction with the protesters, what power do you believe the Sheriff is exerting? He didn’t exert his power by allowing the Cottonwood Rodeo. Stopping the Rodeo would have disturbed me more than allowing it to go on.

        Let me repeat what I said earlier. As large as this state is, we can’t have a one size fits all policy. LA wants to remain shut down through July. Is that going against the Governors recommendations? As he gave the green light to reopening. Modoc County which has had no confirmed cases, why should they be forced to remain shut down?

        It is a sound policy to let individual counties decide what is best. Shasta County has just over 30 confirmed cases. That is why people are protesting.

        The comment made by Donnell Ewert “The sheriff has made clear his disinterest in citing those who violate the (stay at home) order.” Good grief, have you been outside recently? Have you noticed that traffic on the roads are as busy as ever? Should I have been cited for driving up to Benton airport this morning to fly my airplane? or walk my dog at the Sundial Bridge? You really want the police to start citing people that aren’t sitting at home? Talk about exerting power. Maybe I’m just being dense this morning…I blame it on not having a haircut for 2 months, but I’m having a difficult time following your train of thought.

        • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

          “I blame it on not having a haircut for 2 months, but I’m having a difficult time following your train of thought.”

          Two months? Aw heck, Doug, I figure your hair length is still within USAF regulations.

          Har! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            I finally got my wife to cut my bangs as they were annoyingly in my eyes, the sides are well over my ears….not close to being within Air Force regulations. Don’t mean to rub it in your face complaining about my lush, full and beautiful head of thick hair

          • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

            Hal, as I showed on my Facebook page my 7 year old granddaughter does my hair and I even won 1st place in the El Mirage COVI haircut contest.

          • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

            “Don’t mean to rub it in your face complaining about my lush, full and beautiful head of thick hair.”

            Aw, man. I guess I left myself wide open for that one.

  11. Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

    Oh for the love, this is such preposterous nonsense.

    Everyone in the law enforcement system uses professional discretion every day. Every law enforcement leader has the authority to set policies. Feel free to agree or disagree with them, and vote accordingly in the next election, but get off your high horse about the supposed duty to enforce every law.

    The current District Attorney of San Francisco was elected on a platform of refusing to prosecute “quality of life” crimes. Before marijuana was legalized, multiple sheriffs and DA’s on the North Coast were elected specifically on platforms of declining to prosecute marijuana cases. The previous President of the United States’s Justice Department — and the current one — have both declined to use federal resources to enforce marijuana laws in states where it is legal under state law.

    As for the merits of the thing, the county is currently unable to hold nearly any thief or drug dealer in jail, but the sheriff is supposed to go around chasing people who’ve been cooped up for two months and go to a rodeo? Seriously?

    It is possible the sheriff is, you know, both knows his duty and is in touch with reality and the people he works for.

    • Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

      Oh, funny side note: The well-respected CPOA? Sheriff Magrini is a board member.

      https://cpoa.org/about-us/board-of-directors/

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        The California Peace Officer Association (CPOA) is a completely different organization than the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association (CSPOA) that was mentioned in this article.

      • Avatar annelise says:

        AH: excellent find! Thanks for pointing this out. Guess the organization is legit. 🙂

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Sorry AH…I just realized what you were trying to say. I’m with you.

      • Avatar Miguel says:

        And apparently feels free to ignore their recommendations in regard to the Governors orders. What a card!

    • Avatar Annelise says:

      AH: I quite agree with you on much of this. In fact I wrote this article to help others see that in fact the Sheriff is within his rights to use his professional discretion here. Interestingly when I write about a police shooting though, it’s the same people who support the Sheriff now who tell me the victim of the shooting “should have just obeyed orders like the rest of us do.” I find it interesting that one can have it both ways depending on the situation. To me it indicates the degree that our bias influences us. We rarely worry about the constitutional rights of those alleged to have committed crimes unless they are people like us. This is something worth noticing because in a just and equitable society, the rights of all should matter all the time.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        A few thoughts on discretionary enforcement.

        As a somewhat liberal guy who is nevertheless a minor league “gun-humper,” I appreciate that my 2nd Amendment rights are probably better protected here in Shasta County than in many parts of the state.

        But, sheesh, Shasta County’s stance on pot bugs me. I don’t smoke pot, but I’ve always known folks who do, and it sure seems like our zoning regs concerning pot grows are structured to circumvent Fourth Amendment rights and treat people who grow too many plants as criminals.

        I have friends on the right who don’t seem to much care about whether the Fourth Amendment rights of them pot-smoking hippies are protected, and I have friends on the left who would like to see private firearm ownership ended, period.

        What I’ve long maintained is that we need to avoid cherry picking when it comes to the Bill of Rights. If we don’t protect *all* of the Constitution, I really believe that it will someday be little but a quaint historical document.

        When it comes to protecting the Constitution, the Sheriff’s office can be part of the problem, or part of the solution.

        • Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

          As most of my wife’s family is in Trinity County it has always been a requirement that if you live in Trinity County you have to have at least two MJ plants growing in the yard. Yeah, I made that up but it is more truth than fiction.

      • Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

        Annelise,

        Sorry for my harsh early assessment. My beef is really that you are loading a lot of baggage about constitutional sheriffs and certain folks who enjoy the view from a nice high soapbox onto this cart — but nothing I’ve seen about Magrini really fits that narrative. He’s a low-key guy trying to keep the peace among a very frustrated population. And, as he also mentioned to the Record Searchlight — this is a public health issue, not a law enforcement issue. Normally that’s a distinction liberal folks are very attentive to.

        Also, regarding Lopey, you do know the ACLU sued him in federal court, and the judge threw out the cases as meritless, right? If you want to talk about the national attention he got, you might actually include the end of the story.

        OK, I’ve enjoyed the view from this soapbox long enough. Enjoy this beautiful day!

    • Avatar Miguel says:

      This is clearly not what the article said. Annelise gave a generous nod and acknowledgement to “professional discretion,” and the reasons it is sometime necessary and accepted practice. On the other hand, announcing publicly before hand that the Sheriff does not intend to enforce a legal order from the Governor of the state barring public gatherings (during a national emergency) .. probably does merit some examination and discussion. And that is what the article undertook. Nothing “preposterous” about it.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Anonymous — There is longstanding tradition that incoming executive administrations get to prioritize what laws get enforced, given the limitations on LE manpower, budgets, jail space, etc. You get to decide when you’re POTUS if you’re going to spend resources enforcing federal marijuana laws that often require you to wrestle with conflicting state laws, for example.

      To me that’s altogether different from vesting authority in one person in an executive position to decide what’s constitutional and what’s not. You’re essentially giving that person absolute power to render meaningless the responsibilities and actions of the legislative and judicial branches.

      Maybe that’s a distinction without a difference, but I don’t think petty tyrants with no checks and balances are a good idea at any level of government.

      • Avatar Anonymous Heckler says:

        Who is the petty tyrant here? Seems like Sheriff Magrini is being the opposite by declining to bring hammers down on people willy-nilly.

  12. Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

    The discretion afforded law enforcement goes far beyond whether to confront misdemeanor or infractional conduct, to sometimes murderous consequences. Read the sorry history behind Gonzales v. Castle Rock (CO), 545 U.S. 748, in which SCOTUS held that law enforcement is free to ignore any crime and/or free to fail to prevent any crime it could have reasonably prevented if it so chooses based on operational discretion. In that case, such discretion resulted in the murder of three young children by an estranged spouse. In many cases cops are merely well armed stenographers whose only obligation is administrative–complete the requisite paper work as blood is washed from the sidewalk.

  13. Excellent article, Annelise, thank you. And I’m appreciating the thought-provoking conversations and comments here today, too.

    Annelise, I agree with you that Magrini has nothing to lose, and potentially everything to gain (an election) here in conservative Shasta County. He may look like a hero to his followers unless our numbers spike and people, even his followers, start dying.

    With regard to the protesters outside the BOS, you can see in the county’s official recording of the meeting when an exasperated chair Supervisor Mary Rickert – trying to carry on the meeting despite all the noise – finally asks Sheriff Magrini to please ask the people in the lobby to quiet down so supervisors could conduct county business.

    She shouldn’t have had to ask Magrini to get up, do his job and keep the peace. What’s the point of having him there if he can’t do his job? I can’t imagine an employment scenario where an employee is paid to blatantly and selectively neglect his duties.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      As I said earlier Doni. I have attended BOS meetings as well as Redding City Council meetings where there were interruptions by protesters. The pro marijuana crowd was quite vocal during meetings a few years back. . I never recall the Sheriff or RPD interfering in these protests either, I believe the Sheriff is being rather consistent. He did his job…it is not his job to restrict free speech, no matter who it is from. Now, if the Sups direct him to ask the group to quiet down, that’s different. The sups did ask him, he asked the group to quiet down, they apparently did..no harm, no foul.

      • Actually, Doug, he did not ask the group to quiet down.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Let’s put it this way then…California has a statute that requires public bodies to allow for public comments at meetings. This was denied by the Sups. A request was made for one representative of the group to speak to the sups, it could have easily been done while complying with social distancing. After her request was denied, she asked if she could phone in her public comment. That was also denied.

          This is what is scaring me. Just because there is a pandemic going on does not give governments the right to suspend the rule of law. The Board of Supervisors still work for us…not Governor Newsom. To deny citizens of this county the right to address their grievances to our representatives at a public meeting goes against everything I believe in. I applaud these folks for standing their ground and being heard. I am astonished that no one appears to be concerned about this violation of free speech.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          I agree with Doug on this one. There has been some relaxation of the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act requirements owing to COVID-19, but under Newsom’s EOs, boards are supposed to try to maximize agency and public participation via online platforms, etc. If they don’t, it’s arguable that it’s an illegitimate public meeting.

          If the Board of Supervisors is unwilling or unable to accommodate public input at its open meetings, it probably shouldn’t be holding open meetings.

        • Avatar Hal Johnson says:

          I agree with both Doug and Steve, and I never thought I’d write that.

          • Avatar Ed Marek says:

            Sorry, Steve and Hal, but you may be mistaken.

            Next time you find yourself agreeing with Mr. Cook, look for his obvious misstatement of fact, which invalidates his position.

            Is anyone honestly suggesting that the BOS “suspend(ed) the rule of law”, or even that comments were not permitted?

            Reasonable rules for participation in the meeting were clearly posted.

            Does anyone see “screaming at the door of the Chamber using a bullhorn” listed below as one of the permitted methods of comment…?

            “…REMINDERS

            Beginning March 24, 2020, the Board Chambers will not be open for public attendance at Board of Supervisors meetings. Reasonable accommodations will be made for individuals with disabilities.

            To participate in a Board of Supervisors meeting remotely:

            1. View the meeting online live or after the meeting at https://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/bos/meeting-agendas

            2. Submit public comments in writing electronically before or during the meeting on any matter on the agenda or any matter within the Board’s subject matter jurisdiction, regardless of whether it is on the agenda for Board consideration or action.

            Forward comments to clerkoftheboard@co.shasta.ca.us. State “Public Comment for Board of Supervisors Meeting” in the subject line of your email so it is easily identifiable to staff.

            For more details about participating in Board of Supervisors meetings during the COVID-19 pandemic, or to request accommodation, please visit http://www.co.shasta.ca.us/index/cob or contact Mary Williams, Chief Deputy Clerk of the Board, at (530) 225-5550.”

            https://shasta.novusagenda.com/agendapublic/MeetingView.aspx?MeetingID=271&MinutesMeetingID=-1&doctype=Agenda

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Ed — I wondered if that might happen—the prohibition on public input turning out not as Doug described it—but I don’t want people to think I’m obsessed with humping the same key on the piano endlessly, so I went with “I agree.” La de da.

            I’m a veteran of scores of public meetings over the years, almost all on the gum’mint side. I’m intimately familiar with the types who rant and scream. I’ve never encountered a bullhorn in a public meeting that I recall, but I’ve seen worse.

            It’s funny. If you’re in a public meeting about a telecommunications project or whatever, and some guy starts rambling incoherently about something totally off-topic like how chemtrails and the plot to kill all feral cats are related, you’ve probably got yourself a crazy liberal. Someone starts a screaming red-faced incoherent rant about how chemtrails and the plot to seize all the property of sovereigns in America are related, and you got yourself a crazy conservative.

            In my experience, I’ve only seen deputies intervene to control one of those two types, whether it be a conservative or liberal county. I’ve been impressed when they do—it definitely takes a measure of courage.

          • Avatar Damon Miller says:

            Thank you, Ed for doing the work to cite the agenda. I knew that info was in there but too lazy to look it up. It amazes me anyone believes Mr. Cook argues in good faith, but whatever gets you through the night, I guess.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Mr Miller…emailing a comment ahead of time for a public meeting, a comment that is restricted to 250 words does not fulfill the requirement. The reason we have public comments is to be able to confront the representatives, to show them the passion you have on the subject. Emails are too easily dismissed. Representatives hate public comments, as important as they are. Redding City Council attempted to move public comments to the end of the meeting after the closed door sessions, knowing that not too many audience members would stick around.
            There was absolutely no reason why the young lady with the bullhorn could not have been invited in to chambers to say her piece.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug started out by making this about a legal requirement. Under the Bagley-Keene Open Meeting Act and the current circumstances, 250-word emails actually do fulfill the legal requirement, as does limiting speaking time. (Being an anger-addicted scofflaw isn’t a sufficient legal override.) We can be reasonably sure the County’s legal council advised the BOS on this.

            And….representatives hate public comments? Not at all, in my experience. They don’t particularly care for ranting, red-faced, gold-plated @$$holes, though. Someone who comes to a public meeting with a megaphone—lefty or righty—definitely qualifies as a gold-plated @$$hole.

            Just another pack of untrue factoids and unfounded deductions.

  14. R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

    The Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association first gained notoriety a decade ago by encouraging local sheriffs to write letters to the Obama administration informing Obama they wouldn’t be enforcing any gun law changes they disagreed with.

    Sheriff Bosenko sent just such a letter–to Biden, not Obama, the chicken–proudly posted on the Sheriff’s website for years, I wrote about it back then. Boskeno’s name was on the membership of CSPOA, but membership could simply mean you’d sent the letter. I never got to ask him personally because he never returned my calls.

    In this case, Sheriff Magrini has chosen to abandon his vital role in protecting public health during a time of emergency, the coronavirus pandemic, because in his estimation, protecting the constitution is more important. He’s betting that our numbers will stay low instead of doing his job.

    • Avatar The Old Pretender says:

      I saw that letter on Bosenko’s website years ago and complained to the Board of Supervisors about a letter stating Bosenko would enforce gun laws only he decides are relevant. Baugh sent me an email stating he’d let Bosenko know. A few days later I received a call on my cell phone out of the blue from Bosenko who started to brow beat me about who I was and why I complained. I hung up on him. The new sheriff is responding in the same manner as “Burn it down” Bosenko. Playing to their base in the worst sense.

      The people who rattle on about the State of Jefferson are the same people who would choose their leaders from this den of thieves and blackguards.

      • Hal Johnson Hal Johnson says:

        I had to look up “blackguards.” Sometimes, y’all make me feel like *such* a rube.

      • Avatar Gary Tull says:

        “The people who rattle on about the State of Jefferson are the same people who would choose their leaders from this den of thieves and blackguards.”

        Yet a short while back yourself and another dished out scoldings for similar shaming.

  15. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I simply want to know what the Sheriff said in his phone call to Ms McGuen the next day, isn’t that public information ? Why does he have her phone number ? Who does she represent ? Is she making a run for Mary Rickert’s Supervisorial seat ? And notice no masks (other than tape on mouth, which didn’t seem to keep their noise level down), is this their way of building up Herd Immunity ? What’s this all about Alfie ?

  16. Avatar Candace says:

    Some of the people in Shasta County who were so threatened by “Black Lives Matter” are the same people who instead of responding by saying “Why yes, you do; we’re with you!”, responded with “Back The Blue!” in full throttle. While I think intelligent debate and striving towards trying to “see all sides” is a laudable endeavor in furthering conversation with a goal to foster inclusivity I honestly don’t think (other than being used as a mental exercise in critical thinking) that this particular debate will change our Sheriff’s (or his ardent followers) mindset one bit. Sheriff Magrini’s nod to ultra conservative Shasta County is nothing new and I don’t see it going away anytime soon; it’s where we live. So I guess my point is that while I do so appreciate your thoughts Annelise, I fear that in this instance and for the most part, “singing to the choir” may be exactly what happens. I’m not using the Black Lives Matter analogy to say the Sheriff or BOS protestors are racists (don’t know them personally so it would be a baseless judgement) but rather to illustrate that Shasta County has a long history of backing its conservative “Blue” and virus or no virus that history seems to be thoroughly and steadfastly entrenched in our county’s soil. I’m not saying we shouldn’t have a dialogue, I just think like many things today it mostly falls on political partisan ears. Anyway, that’s my two cents worth. Oh, and Frank? I noticed in the RS photo taken at the meeting that there was not a mask to be seen on the tv reporter, protestor, LE or supervisor; nor was that fact mentioned in the article.

  17. Avatar Candace says:

    Well look at that; Doug, Steve and Hal just proved me wrong regarding my “only falling on political partisan ears” observation; I humbly (and pleasantly surprised!) stand corrected . Guess my two-cents worth was worth exactly that! Take a bow Annelise; it’s well-deserved.

  18. Avatar Douglas Hirsch says:

    Eric is,an incredible sheriff in short period of time. He is my neighbor for several years.
    He represents our best heritage.
    News Cafe seems not part of our area.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Doug Hirsch — For all I know Sheriff Magrini is a great guy and an able Sheriff with respect to most of his duties. I may disagree on how he’s handling COVID-19-related violations, but I don’t think that damns him across the board. And I try to appreciate that he’s got a tough crowd to please. I can see his grinning, “Call me tomorrow” wink-wink to a belligerent meeting attendee as an effort to diffuse a tense situation. If that was the case, well done.

      If he views himself as the type of “constitutional sheriff” who thinks he has the final word locally on what’s constitutional and what isn’t, I could never vote for him, because that’s not how our constitutional republic is supposed to operate. That doesn’t mean I think he’s a bad guy. It just means we disagree.

      As for our heritage, during our lifetimes Redding was a union town, and our representatives were mostly Democrats. A News Cafe and the people who frequent the site are part of our area and our heritage. Maybe not people that you choose to associate with, but they do exist as a vocal minority.

    • Avatar The Old Pretender says:

      “News Cafe seems not part of our area.” That tells you all you need to know. Classic white hood speak there. No matter the civility of conversation, this is a perfect example of the toxic bigotry bubbling under the surface in “our area”. This is the worst of the love it or leave it nonsense that is pervasive and only pops its ugly head up when the “right” kind of people are in power. Despicable, jingoistic, and ignorant stooges denigrate an otherwise lovely place to live.

  19. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    So if a particular sheriff identifies himself as a constitutional sheriff, does that mean the sheriff’s who do not identify with that moniker are considered “unconstitutional sheriffs “?
    Are the sheriff’s supporters a self proclaimed righteous group of constitutional citizens?
    What does that make those of us who do not subscribe to LE who make subjective decisions based on their political future, the wishes of their base or simply which way the wind blows.

    Is it really so hard for the sheriff to represent all the citizens of their jurisdiction?

  20. Joanne Snyder Joanne Snyder says:

    Thank you for an excellent article Annelise. I learned a lot from the posts of readers. You can become a sheriff officer in California with a high school diploma or a passing score on the G.E.D. test. I mention this because most lay enforcement officers don’t have the education to understand the complex system of law that keeps our country running. They don’t need that education. They don’t have to understand or agree with the law They just have to enforce the law. The Cottonwood Rodeo would never have happened if the organizers hadn’t known ahead of time that the Sheriff Department was not going to enforce the law. Again, great article.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      I guess police officers are just to dumb to understand the system, right Joanne? I believe that over 85% of RPD police officers hold a Bachelors degree of above. Our police chief has a Masters in public administration. Is Sheriff Magrini too dumb to understand the system? Well, let’s see… the Sheriff attended and successfully graduated from FBI’s National Academy located in Quantico, Virginia. He also recently attended FBI’s Executive Management Course, located at the Federal Training Facility in Huntsville, Alabama. He also earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice graduating with summa cum laude honors. What a condescending comment to say that our Sheriff and officers are not smart enough to understand the system. Good gawd…

  21. Avatar Beverly Stafford says:

    I just found a silly in my Inbox: Cops these days will be like, “Come out with your hands washed!”

  22. Avatar Ace says:

    Several comments made about how LEO’s “must” enforce all laws. While it’s true that all LEO’s have complete discretion in their enforcement duties, except when they come across someone with a warrant, (which is actually a good thing when you really examine it carefully), in this particular situation with the sheriffs it has nothing to do with groups of people being treated better or worse based on their social status. It’s not a class thing. The reason the sheriffs are refusing to enforce the orders from the governors is a simple one. They know the orders are unconstitutional and as such any enforcement of them would be a violation of law on their part. They would be violating their oath

    You guys need to remember that no officer is required to enforce a law they know is unconstitutional/illegal. “I was just following orders.” is no defense. If you KNOW the law is illegal yet you choose to enforce it anyway, because of “orders,” then you are guilty too!

    There is a difference between not enforcing a law because you simply don’t agree with it, or think it’s unfair, dumb, overreach, unnecessary or any other subjective, personal ‘feelings’ you might have (as a LEO), and not enforcing it because you know it’s a violation of the constitution and therefore illegal to enforce. The sheriff(s) are going to be on the side that is exercising constitutional rights and freedoms. That’s the default position they’re supposed to take regardless of who the crowd consists of. That’s what all LEO are SUPPOSED to do, but the sheriffs seem to do it a little better than local LE, generally.

    If you’re looking for a bright line that separates good law enforcement from bad, i can provide you with one. LEO’s who use the Bill of Rights as their first and foremost authority in their decision making in how to govern their interactions with citizens = good. It may not be perfect but it’s as good as it’s going to get in this world, at this time in history. Comparatively and historically speaking, it’s pretty damn good. And it’s going to have to be good enough.

    • Avatar jeff says:

      There are legal scholars of all political stripes that debate the constitutionality of laws every day, and the debates go on. Where do these mostly high school graduates get this all knowing knowledge of whether or not any particular law is constitutional valid or not? And, why is it that the sheriffs it seems more that other law enforcement agencies often interpret these laws with a more conservative interpretations?

      • Avatar Ace says:

        “Mostly high school graduates”? How did you come to this conclusion? I don’t see why you would label the strict adherence to the constitution “conservative” in nature.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Jeff…I urge you to read my reply to Joanne above this comment, “mostly high school graduates” is just not true these days as I explained above.

    • Avatar Candace says:

      So the treatment of our local homeless by LE is always and only done to uphold the Bill of Rights and afford those people their constitutional rights and freedoms and is therefore deemed a “good” interaction with citizens? Who is it protecting? The homeless? The housed? Both? No social status bias going on there? No classism (realized or unrealized) involved? Go ahead and cloak it in the Bill of Rights but as far as classism goes LE isn’t immune from social status bias anymore than you or I and of course prevailing local attitudes towards the homeless play into that equation. Personally I’m not ok with that being “good enough”.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        What treatment of the homeless by LE are you specifically talking about?

      • Avatar Ace says:

        @Candace
        Not sure what you mean exactly but you should remember that LEO’s make no promise in their oath of office to keep anyone safe and free from harm. In fact the word “safe/safety” isn’t even in the oath. It may vary slightly from state to state but it’s basically the same thing for all LE…

        ” I, ___________________________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of _____________ against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of _____________; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.”

        That’s for local LE and sheriffs, as well as any other type of officer, judge, members of congress, even the president. The job is to protect and defend the US Constitution first and foremost. That’s what always has to come first. Your personal safety is not their problem. They can’t be held liable in a court of law for failing to protect any individual unless that person has a special relationship with that officer. Like if a judge ordered police protection of that person, or something official. They have no duty to keep anyone safe and free from harm. That’s not to say they won’t, just that they don’t legally have to because that’s not in their job description. The courts have been crystal clear in tons of case law going back decades.

    • Avatar The Old Pretender says:

      The Bill of Rights does not give you the right to infect others because of your stupidity, ignorance, or lack of basic understanding of science and public health practices. The saddest part of all this is that the only way these people would understand is if those who violated the Governor’s request will get infected and either die or infect and kill their loved ones. That’s a pretty high standard when those who are working hard to keep the effects of Covid from proliferating are also at risk.

      The bottom line is this: the people harping on about rights truly don’t believe the disease is serious because of what they heard on yootoob, at church, or from similarly ignorant pals. The planet would be better for their early expiration, and I wouldn’t have to exercise tolerance for their actions against their own best interest and safety of society.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Ace: Thanks for your knowledgeable comments. It’s interesting that you say any law enforcement officer has the right to decide what’s constitutional and enforce according to their interpretation of the constitution. Can you cite a resource or two for your statement ” no officer is required to enforce a law they know is illegal”? I’m very curious to learn more about the power law enforcement has to decide on the constitutionality of laws for themselves, despite what the executive branch of government has mandated.

      • Avatar annelise says:

        I should clarify what the governor has mandated, as sheriffs too are part of the executive branch of government.

  23. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Under the legal doctrine known as parens patriae, a government has not only the authority – but also the obligation – to protect it’s citizenry – particularly when citizens cannot protect themselves. This ruling has been interpreted as simply as in the protection of dependent children, the disabled, the mentally deficient…. to as broad an interpretation as protecting entire populations. A court ruling would likely be a requirement of such an interpretation, but it wouldn’t surprise me to find a sympathetic adjudication that would rule to safeguard the health interests of the greater good, denying the rights of the individual to selectively enforce executive order. Regardless…constitutional analysis is oftentimes best left to scholars of the constitution. Those elected to enforce should do just that, and leave scholarly analytics to the academics. Such decisions should not be made with considerations of local bias as the primary motivation.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Bill: I think what you mention about who gets to interpret the constitutionality of a law in order to choose whether to follow/enforce it, is the big sticking point here. I tend to agree with you but am very interested to continue learning. Your mention of parens patriae is intriguing.

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        Thanks for the entertaining read, Annelise.
        This is an issue with sound argument for both the rights of the individual and the responsibility of acknowledging the need for protecting the common good, and perhaps more a question of civic responsibility than legal liability. In a responsibly intertwined community, group values and interpersonal moralities would also be ingredients to consider. Do I regard you more highly than you regard me because I wear a mask to protect you while you won’t even cover your mouth while you sneeze? Do I regard you any less if I threaten to kick your ass to Sunday if you don’t put on a mask to protect your loved ones? Mask not what your country can do for you, mask what you can to do what’s best for your country…

        Conscience plays a role, and I’d be put upon intensely if I thought I were somehow responsible for making someone else sick with COVID. Some don’t seem to give a darn one way or the other. This ingredient of selfish-ness and lack of conscience appears to be a common theme amongst non-maskers. I look for another wave come the Oct-Nov timeframe, and hope we have learned from our collective mistakes made in round one.
        Cheers…

  24. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    I’ve tried several times to post on this concept – to no avail. The doctrine by which government is proffered not only the authority – but also the obligation – to protect it’s citizenry. It’s constitutional interpretation under specific circumstance is always left up to legal scholars. In prior rulings, it has been found to apply as simply as the protecting of a dependent child. It has also been interpreted as broadly as to protect entire populations. Parens patriae…look it up.

  25. Avatar Sky says:

    Annelise Pierce?

    More like Annelise FIERCE

  26. Avatar D says:

    Yeah let’s open up the county. So if you don’t accept the social distanting mask wearing and gloves thing, if you get the virus stay at home and die, no don’t go to the ER and don’t ask for financial aid. You don’t want to respect the right not to get sick, YOU STAY AT HOME CUZ I DON’T WANT TO GET SICK!!!! Thank you everyone that has respected social distanting.

  27. Avatar Shelly Shively says:

    Thank-you, Annelise, for this excellent, thorough, insightful article.
    “….in a just and equitable society, the rights of all should matter all the time.” bears the critical theme. In one of the comments above, Ace included the oath taken by sheriffs, law enforcement, military, and even the president. Prior to this article, I’d never heard of “constitutional sheriff”. I’d assumed that law enforcement was primarily about citizen safety, and upholding laws. I’ve always felt deeply bothered upon hearing of law enforcement officers who use their bias to chose which law to enforce.
    I once attended a traffic violation class in Placerville, where the instructor, a retired CHP, bragged about how he didn’t always have to give a ticket, rather, it was up to his mood, or simply because he happened to like, or dislike the offender. With a wink, he said, “hey, if it’s a pretty girl, or I see on the license that it’s someone’s birthday, I can give them a pass.” I find this flexibility of the badge extremely unsettling. Apparently, I’m naive: after reading some of the comments in this article, its common knowledge and acceptance that law enforcement has full reign to apply their personal bias when confronted with a broken law. Is that “discretion” a right and privilege of the uniform and badge?
    What about Sheriffs? I’d never known the distinction of sheriff, vs police chief, vs police officer. I googled “responsibilities of sheriffs” and found this enlightening article: https://theappeal.org/the-power-of-sheriffs-an-explainer/
    The article cited the issues of potential for corruption and abuse by a sheriff. This brings me to ask why do we need a sheriff in our community, if we already have Chief of Police and police officers?
    Get rid of the position of sheriff, and use that salary for new police officers.
    Bravo, Annelise, for this thorough piece of journalism.

    • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

      Shelly: The Sheriff’s role is enshrined in the California Constitution. Not so easy to get rid of. While there’s no doubt that law enforcement officers can, and do, use their discretionary powers in ways that are not just or equitable, the issue of whether they can refuse to enforce an order because they find it unconstitutional is a very different and perhaps even more concerning issue in my mind. Most citizens would need to challenge such a law in court if they found it unconstitutional, why not Sheriffs? At the very least you’d expect that groups like the CPOA would be issuing statements about how they advise LE that they do not need to enforce laws that are not constitutional. Additionally, courts have determined in the past that outlawing camping on public property violates the constitutional rights of the homeless, yet I have never seen a member of LE refuse to enforce such orders. Why not? It seems clear that the political/personal/social bias of the member of law enforcement plays a significant role in their fulfilling their oath of protecting the constitution. https://nlchp.org/homeless-persons-cannot-be-punished-for-sleeping-in-absence-of-alternatives-9th-circuit-decision-establishes/

  28. Avatar Diane Blaylock says:

    Seems to me we have run down the rabbit-hole with the restrictions, and there is no default stop. Persons who dare to break the mold are characterized as being ignorant and uncaring. One size DOES NOT FIT ALL,
    and people are getting tired of it.
    As an essential worker, I follow all the protocols to the letter. But there’s gotta be some give and take in this before our fragile local economy and yes, culture goes down the toilet. And I’m not gonna bash on the good ol’boys for
    “kicking against the pricks”.

    • Avatar annelise says:

      Diane, I agree that many are frustrated and that there are very legitimate concerns about an extended shelter-in-place. But how do we solve such problems in a democracy such as ours?

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        By expressing our concerns to our elected representatives. If they don’t listen…then grab a bullhorn and make sure they listen, and then vote them out if you are not satisfied with their response.

        By the way, the Sheriff is a County employee, doesn’t work for the city. He is in charge of the incorporated parts of the county as well as running the county jails and Sugar Pine Camp.

        RPD enforces the camping laws because it is a big concern of the citizens of Redding. When they break up a camp they offer beds at the GNRM which hasn’t been full in quite awhile, and other social services available to them, The 9th Circuit decision says that alternative housing must be available..it is if they choose to go. Most don’t.

        • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

          Doug: 1) Actually in a democracy, while we protest to communicate discontent and send a powerful message, we use the courts to determine whether laws are constitutional. Grabbing a bullhorn is fine to communicate concern and voting folks out is a good long term solution, but the courts are where the constitutionality of laws is determined, right? 2) I’m quite aware of the Sheriff’s jurisdiction, but unsure why this is relevant. 3) RPD shouldn’t choose what laws to enforce based on whether they are a “big concern of the citizens.” Does this mean we only consider whether laws are constitutional if they’re not “a big concern of the citizens?” Of course not. 4) The 9th circuit does not appear to support shelters such as the GNRM as alternative housing because they are not a “low barrier shelter”.

      • Avatar Diane Blaylock says:

        Well, while I do believe Gov. Newsom was correct in the initial shutdown, I admit that I am distrustful of “Big Pharma” and overreaching government policy. I vaccinate but I also pray that “No deadly thing may harm me”. That’s it, in a nutshell.
        To be honest, I was shocked about the rodeo, and surprised that the sherriffs still have a vestige of sovereignity. I guess that is what I am rooting for. Plenty of people think fresh air and sunshine would do us a world of good right now. Thank you for your thought-provoking article.

  29. Diane. I hear you about the frustration everyone is feeling; we’re all “tired of it.”

    When you say you are not going to bash the good ol’ boys for “kicking the pricks”, who are the pricks? Newsom? The CDC? Public health? Elected leaders who follow COVID-19 guidelines? People who wear masks?
    It’s a serious question.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      “Kicking against the pricks” is an idiom having to do with a beast of burdon resisting being goaded (meaning, resisting your fate).

      And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. —Acts 26:14, King James Version

      When we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in Hebrew, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.” —Modern English Version

      (Paul, before he changed his name, describing to King Agrippa his encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus.)

    • Avatar Diane Blaylock says:

      Doni,
      First of all I am honored to have a voice in this forum with you and Hal and R.V., and everyone else. I recently subscribed, and am passionate about the quality-of-life issues plaguing our beautiful Northstate. I am a transplant from the Bay Area 30+years ago, and wouldn’t live anywhere else. I just really see Sherriff Mangrini standing on a platform that is slowly eroding, and there is something really sad about that. Our ability to “agree to disagree” is going into a choke hold. My glove box is full of masks. I have a giant bottle of sanitizer in the door. I have worried myself sick about all of this, like everyone else, I guess. The way of life that Sherriff Mangrini and the “good ol’boys” are standing up for is being dragged off, slowly but surely, into the sunset. I can’t stand by and watch them buck and kick without feeling something. I’m not even sure what it is. I do know it hurts my heart somehow.
      I do intend to give the sourdough starter a shot. I think that will help.
      Best regards,
      Diane

      • Avatar Annelise Pierce says:

        Diane: your perspective, “The way of life that Sherriff Mangrini and the “good ol’boys” are standing up for is being dragged off, slowly but surely, into the sunset. I can’t stand by and watch them buck and kick without feeling something. I’m not even sure what it is. I do know it hurts my heart somehow.” is fascinating. Thank you for writing. I appreciate hearing your voice.

      • Welcome to ANC, Diane, as a reader and a precious subscriber. Thank you! We’re glad you’re here.

        These are bizarre times, and my heart hurts, too, over what’s happening with regard to the polarization in the middle of a pandemic.

        Yes, sourdough’s a good idea. I’ll have more about that soon. Hang in there. Deep breaths. xod

  30. Greg Greenberg Greg Greenberg says:

    I think that this is a thought provoking article. And clearly the voters will decide if they back Magrini’s actions. Yay democracy.

    Hindsight is 20:20. That being said, I did not see the hospital overwhelmed with COVID patients today so I guess it turned out OK. The governor painted the state with a wide brush where Los Angeles and the Bay Area were on a path to their health systems being overwhelmed. Shasta County’s healthcare system is underwhelmed. We flattened the curve. But we also have no herd immunity and no end point.

    I greatly disagree with the rodeo being held. I also happen to agree with Magrini using his judgment and not enforcing criminal action on those attending an event in a community with little prevalent virus. Social distancing has been the key to our health services not being overwhelmed. But we also lost sight of the original intent of flattening the curve. We must balance the harm of a virus with less than one percent mortality rate (yes, it’s still ugly and causes a lot of serious illness) with the increase in mental illness, substance use, and social connections.

    The curve has been flattened and we have ICU beds and ventilators available for you and your families if you are reckless enough to attend a large gathering of people. However the threat doesn’t seem so high that I want to see our sheriff dragging people out in handcuffs.

    • Avatar Ed Marek says:

      Why do you believe that COVID-19 is “… a virus with less than one percent mortality rate…”?

      The simple math from the JHU dashboard implies a current~6% fatality rate, nationwide:

      ://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

      While the “Total Confirmed” is surely under-counted, so is the “deaths US” due to present under-count, and the significant number of those presently “confirmed” and ill, who will die in the future.

      While I expect the USA mortality rate will eventually be determined to be much lower than 6%, unless you have solid data to show that ten (or tens of?) million Americans already have been infected, I don’t see how you can state with any certainty a “…less than one percent mortality rate…” however popular such a belief may be at present.

      And isn’t the higher age/higher comorbidity rate of North California’s population going to almost certainly increase our mortality rate above the national average, whatever it turns out to be?

      If we are more likely to die from COVID-19 than the average of Americans in other regions, shouldn’t we be taking even greater care, not to get it?

    • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

      My initial perspective on what you wrote, is that you are attempting to have “things” both ways. Like, it’s not exactly great that the rodeo was held, however, you believe the Sheriff was within his rights to ignore the law. The rodeo was held May 10th, so I’m guessing you waited the 14 days for your post because you witnessed no visible fall-out.

      The kicker for me was your comment, “we must balance the harm of virus with less than one percent mortality rate…with the increase in mental illness, substance abuse, and social connections.” What price do you pay on a life exactly? I’m further guessing you are one of those doctors who wouldn’t give pain medication after a surgery. Really, if the rodeo and the 100,000 dead people, and enforcing the law aren’t a big issue for you, why try and control the other mentioned issues? Why not just let it all play out?

      • Greg greenberg Greg greenberg says:

        As far as the mortality rate, because the denominator is unknown, the best data suggests that the mortality rate is under 1 percent. This is further bolstered by data on serology, New York’s study suggested that the mortality there was 0.5 percent. Multiple studies (Santa Clara, Los Angeles) have suggested lower numbers. The physicians who talk about this cite the fatality as probably around one percent.

        Linda Cooper, as much as I appreciate your concern for the compassion of my care, you are assuming that every death from Covid 19 is preventable. This virus is widely disseminated and a majority of the population will either get it or be vaccinated. Since it’s at least a year before vaccination, we have to accept that there will he further transmission and a second wave will hit as we relax restrictions. I believe in the public health measure. But in a community with so little Covid I don’t see arresting people at a gathering to be what our community needs.

        This is a scary virus. I know doctors who have had it and doctors who have seen a lot of this. Lumping me into one of those conservative, Fox News, open things up people would not be true. I agree with masks and social distancing. My point, once again, is that we need to recognize that we have flattened the curve and I don’t think our Sheriff should be arresting those at a gathering where the risk of overwhelming numbers of new cases was unlikely to overwhelm the medical system.

        • Avatar Linda Cooper says:

          Greg Greenberg – I really appreciate your reply! I try and be mindful about posting during these strange times. In fact, I was just going to ask ANC, if they would remove my post. And, alas, such a gentle reply you gave. My thanks.

    • Dr. Greenberg, you know I’m a fan, and I agree with almost everything you said here, but I do want to clarify the part where you refer to Magrini “using his judgment and not enforcing criminal action on those attending an event in a community with little prevalent virus.”

      The thing is, there was no need to cite people or arrest them or any kind of punishment for attending the gathering, because Magrini had an opportunity to stop the rodeo before it happened. The horse was already out of the barn, because Magrini was quoted the day before saying he had given approval for the rodeo to happen, because the organizer had assured Magrini that CDC information would be passed out to people at the gate, and hand-washing stations would be there for people, and no food would be served.

      You know those CDC pamphlets were probably never read, and there was food served there, after all.

      But all that is moot, because Shasta County public health had already contacted the rodeo organizer and said no. And it was moot because Magrini was not authorized to give a green light to the rodeo, because there was already a state executive order in place that banned large gatherings, and this one was widely expected to draw at least 1,000 people. There’d be no need for handcuffs if the event was stopped before it started.

      I confess, I was convinced that we’d see a spike in positive COVID cases here in the north state right about now, between the Mother’s Day Cottonwood Rodeo and the fact that many churches also opened on Mother’s Day, but I was wrong. The low numbers are a good thing, but frankly, the low numbers are a puzzling thing, too.

      Public health tells us that the virus is still present here, because they’re still seeing infections in people who have no clue where they got it, so it was just contracted “out there” somewhere via community transmission.

      I have so many questions, for example, let’s say that a bunch of people who are infected are asymptomatic, and they infect people who are also asymptomatic, and of those who do have symptoms, more than 80 percent have mild symptoms that might not even warrant a trip to the doctor, or for the COVID test. Then what happens? Is it like invisible Russian roulette, and eventually the virus will land on someone with a compromised immune system and then things get serious? And then, there’s the issue of what some experts claim can be up to 30 percent false negative.

      It’s just all so confusing.

      One thing’s for sure, and that’s that I liked this sentence of yours: “The curve has been flattened and we have ICU beds and ventilators available for you and your families if you are reckless enough to attend a large gathering of people.”

      Thanks for stopping by. You’ve been missed!

      • Avatar annelise says:

        Dr. Greenberg: I enjoyed your thoughtful and nuanced response and like Doni, I was concerned about your comment about Magrini using his judgment not to arrest people. Doni said it much better than I would have: Magrini had other options. Thanks so much for reading.

      • Avatar Ed Marek says:

        “…I confess, I was convinced that we’d see a spike in positive COVID cases here in the north state right about now, between the Mother’s Day Cottonwood Rodeo and the fact that many churches also opened on Mother’s Day, but I was wrong. The low numbers are a good thing, but frankly, the low numbers are a puzzling thing, too…”

        The calendar may be on our side, Doni.

        At least for the coming hot season…

        “How likely is a ‘fall surge’ of the coronavirus in California?

        As California society slowly reopens after a two-month shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are hoping for a return to normalcy.

        But many experts fear that after the state goes through the summer months, a surge in virus spread and infected patients could drive everything backward this fall or winter…”

        https://www.sfgate.com/news/editorspicks/article/fall-surge-California-coronavirus-death-spike-15278963.php

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Greg — I don’t love the a-posteriori reasoning that nobody apparently got infected at the rodeo, so the Sheriff made all the right moves. I absolutely agree that rushing in with deputies, and perhaps National Guard back-up requested from the governor, to drag people away in handcuffs would have been a shit-show. I’m glad the Sheriff showed some restraint.

      But was mass arrest his only recourse?

      What about holding the pack of liars who organized the rodeo accountable? The ones who promised the County an event organized around safety measures, and ignored them? Instead, the Sheriff established a strong precedent: Anything goes. Do whatever you want. I will do zero to even pretend that I’m enforcing the state’s COVID-19 restrictions.

      His response to the pack of scofflaws at the BOS meeting was similar. He coulda said to the Bullhorn Queen, “Hey, I can’t allow you to disrupt the meeting like that. I’ll need to hold onto the bullhorn until the meeting is over.”

      Nah. He said, reportedly grinning like a chimp, “I’ll call you tomorrow.”

      That’s a great look from a Sheriff, making it appear that he’s a party to the public display of social disobedience rather than a neutral keeper of the peace (and the law).

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        What Steve said. (but more politely of course.) 😉

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          “What Steve said. (But more politely of course)”

          Nothing impolite in Steve’s response, considering the circumstance. That Magrini exceeded his authority should be obvious to all. The nature of COVID is confounding – it’s insidious nature remains poorly understood, the long term effects unquantifiable as yet. If anyone believes the sheriff acted within his jurisprudence, I would recommend that person take his/her ailment to the sheriff’s dept for an opinion before going to their PHCP. He might even write you out a script right on the spot for hydroxychloroquine to treat hangnail, the croup, or pinkeye. What do you have to lose?

  31. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    “As far as the mortality rate, because the denominator is unknown, the best data suggests that the mortality rate is under 1 percent. This is further bolstered by data on serology, Nee York’s study suggested that the mortality there was 0.5 percent. Multiple studies (Santa Clara, Los Angeles) have suggested lower numbers. The physicians who talk about this cite the fatality as probably around one percent…”

    As you say, this is a popular belief, among many doctors, and others. But I believe I have read most/all of the sources you mention (without citation) and haven’t seen the actual evidence required to back it up.

    If you have, please share.

    “…we have to accept that there will he further transmission and a second wave will hit as we relax restrictions…”

    And I assume you would agree, that if we “relax” our behavior to the point where it is similar to pre-pandemic, North California, like everywhere else, will soon see the extremely high transmission rates experienced before “social distancing” was put into effect, and the “second wave” will be in the nature of a tsunami.

    This plan is not sounding very “relaxing” to me…

    “…we need to recognize that we have flattened the curve…”

    Was that all you wanted to achieve? I think many people had much higher aspirations.

    Don’t you think it would have been advisable to have a national strategy to maintain “social distancing” until infection and fatality rates were reduced to much lower levels, nationwide?

    Does it really make sense to “relax” when America still has tens of thousands of new infections, and thousands of fatalities every day? Just how relaxing do you expect life will be in America, with rates increasing from this base during the “second wave” you describe?

    Most well-governed nations seem to be “relaxing” only after they reduce infection and death rates to 5% to 10% of America’s current levels, and they seem to be convinced they can avoid a “second wave” even with extremely “relaxed” behavior (or as many others would say, during an economic recovery) by intensive management of the few infections that remain.

    THEY all must be nuts…

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