Cities across the country are using law enforcement officers to actively shut down and cite people found breaking stay-at-home orders put in place to help slow the spread of the coronavirus. For one Illinois mayor, enforcing the law meant - unwittingly - sending the cops after his wife.
Mayor Brant Walker of Alton, Illinois, warned his constituents that he would step up enforcement of the state's stay-at-home orders by sending police out to break up social gatherings over the weekend.
"On Friday, due to the continued increase in cases of COVID-19 in Madison County, as well as increased reports of large gatherings, particularly in some of our city parks, I directed the Alton police Department to more strictly enforce the Governor's statewide "Stay At Home" order through the use of citations," he wrote.
In a statement made on Facebook Monday, Mr Walker explained how those efforts wound up with his wife in violation of the stay-at-home order.
"At approximately 1am on Sunday morning, I was informed by the Police Chief that the Alton Police Department was investigating and stopping a social gathering in downtown Alton that was occurring in violation of the provisions of the statewide "Stay At Home" order," Mr Walker wrote. "I was also made aware that my wife was in attendance at this prohibited social gathering."
According to the mayor, he gave his wife no leeway when it came to the police enforcing the rules.
"I instructed the Police Chief to treat her as he would any citizen violating the "Stay At Home" order during this incident," he wrote. "I am embarrassed by this incident and apologise to the citizens of Alton for any embarrassment this incident may cause our City."
According to the Alton Daily News, the mayor's wife attended a party at Hiram's Tavern. The owner of the tavern was arrested on an outstanding domestic battery warrant and the others in attendance - including the mayor's wife - were given citations for reckless conduct.
"My wife is an adult capable of making her own decisions, and in this instance she exhibited a stunning lack of judgement," Mr Walker wrote on Facebook.
He said his wife would face "the same consequences for her ill-advised decision as the other individuals" attending the party.
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