We often look to Texas as a bit of a beacon for the right way to do things, the right way to pay attention to protecting our constitutional rights because they have so often been on the right side of things.
But we’re seeing some crazy things coming out of Texas now in regard to the pandemic and the efforts to reopen.
As we reported earlier, there was the Dallas salon owner who was arrested and sentenced to a week in jail for daring to reopen and refusing to apologize for needing to provide for her family and the families of her employees. As my colleague Brandon Morse reported, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) ripped that apart and a go fund me has been started for her.
Putting someone in jail is pretty crazy.
But showing up with SWAT, drawn guns and an MRAP is next level crazy for a peaceful protest. This could have got someone killed for no reason at all.
Ector County Sheriff’s SWAT team raiding a peaceful protest at Big Daddy Zane’s in West Odessa. The bar opened this afternoon despite Abbott’s latest orders, saying “all businesses are essential.”
— JuYeon Kim (@JuYeonKimTV) May 5, 2020
This is just wrong. There was no call for that kind of a reaction, especially given that the bar owner had previously consulted with the police about the protest.
While some businesses had been allowed to reopen, bars, gyms and salons were not among them.
But according to Your Basin, Gabrielle Ellison, the owner of Big Daddy Zane’s, a local bar in West Odessa, said she had no choice, that if she didn’t open, she couldn’t feed her family, she said, “We’re not going to make it.”
But she couldn’t believe they brought SWAT in. “I am shocked. I had customers come through saying, ‘You know they have SWAT built up, they have SWAT built up.’ Why would you bring in SWAT on a peaceful situation?”
“The possibility of losing my license – heartbreaking. But they’ve already taken my income,” Ellison said.
Ellison claims the police said everything would be ok as long as protesters who were armed were not on the property, so she says they were in an area behind the bar which was her private property.
Both Ellison and several protesters were arrested, some who were armed being charged with having guns on a “prohibited premise” (her property is a prohibited premise?). Wyatt Winn, 23, Jesse Semrad, 36, Carlo O’Brien, 20, Joshua Watt, 31, Anthony Elden, 24, and Brandon Burney 21, have been charged with places weapons prohibited. Ellison was charged with “violation of emergency management plan.”
— CBS7 (@CBS7News) May 5, 2020
I called the Ector County Sheriff’s Office to inquire; they would only say that they consider it an “ongoing investigation” and as such, would not comment on the matter further. This is bizarre. Was this just authoritarian “lockdown enforcement” or are we missing something? https://t.co/zRspqw0rMg
— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) May 5, 2020
The best explanation that the Ector County Sheriff Mike Griffis seemed to offer was that it was a “show of force” not a protest. “This was not a protest of their second amendment rights, it was a show of force to ensure that this lady could violate the Governor’s order,” Sheriff Griffis said. Um, they’re allowed to have guns at a protest, Sheriff, as you should know and as you should protect. Notice how there is no allegation that anyone did anything illegal or threatening in anyway.
In Texas you would think they would know better. But apparently not.
Americans, including Dan Bongino and Kurt Schlichter were not amused and they let the Ector County police know it.
This is ridiculous. And whoever authorized this should be relieved of their jobs immediately. 👇🏻👇🏻 https://t.co/7sRpkVn3GO
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) May 5, 2020
A SWAT team with GUNS DRAWN raided a peaceful protest at Big Daddy Zane’s in West Odessa, Texas.
The bar owner reopened because he says “all businesses are essential.”
— Young Americans for Liberty (@YALiberty) May 5, 2020
A SWAT team with guns drawn because a bar was open. Are y’all awake yet? You should be. https://t.co/FYNczDPi8W
— Doug Stafford (@dougstafford) May 5, 2020
Particularly scary when you have people who don’t know how to hold a rifle.
Look at the cops that did that swat thing today. Omg. pic.twitter.com/fnIOCroGLI
— VK2 Reject Tyranny (@2222vj) May 6, 2020
The Thick Blue Line https://t.co/fuk0upUXb0
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) May 6, 2020
Starsky and Lunch https://t.co/YYH0sBfuPQ
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) May 6, 2020
That is Meal Team 6 in action.
— S Kutz (@sjkz) May 6, 2020
Notice no masks, no social distancing.
Some folks also had a little fun with them, starting a Go Fund Me to buy them a treadmill.
— Genesis-129.org (@monkeysgirl351) May 5, 2020
Looks like Go Fund Me may have incapacitated that or it was pulled.
Gov. Greg Abbott has now weighed in on the case of Shelley Luther called jailing her wrong. People are now calling on him to rectify this case as well.