Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is encouraging citizens to turn in their neighbors who violate the city’s “stay-at-home order. “Snitches get rewards,” the mayor said this week.
Are kids expected to turn in their parents? Does anyone else think this is Hitlerian in concept, if not in execution?
“If any non-essential businesses continue to operate in violation of the stay at home order, we’re going to act to enforce the safer at home order and ensure their compliance,” Garcetti said, according to CBS Los Angeles.
The mayor’s office said that city officials, with officers from the Los Angeles Police Department, had visited more than 500 businesses that had not complied with his order. His office said four businesses have already been referred for misdemeanor filings.
“You know the old expression about snitches,” Garcetti said this week. “Well, in this case, snitches get rewards.”
He added: “We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe,” he said.
The suggestion will turn neighborhood busybodies into spies for the government. The city even has a website where you can report these lawbreakers, although there’s no mention of a reward.
The city attorney has filed criminal charges against four businesses that are defying the closure order.
On Friday, Los Angeles prosecutors filed criminal charges against four stores that stayed open despite Mayor Eric Garcetti’s executive “Safer at Home” order calling for the shutdown of all nonessential businesses. The charges mark the first known instance of a city prosecuting businesses that disregard orders to shutter amid the coronavirus epidemic.
The prosecuted businesses are Brother Shoes, Business Discount Electronics, the DTLA Smoke Shop and Hot Box Smoke Shop. In addition to these four shops, the city attorney’s office says it’s considering prosecuting 30 other businesses accused of operating against city orders.
An organization with the Orwellian-sounding name of “Business Ambassadors Program” is apparently going door-to-door making sure businesses are compliant. Otherwise, you can be charged criminally for threatening the safety of everybody — or something.
The program contacts and warns noncompliant businesses to cease operations under the penalty of possible legal charges. Noncompliant businesses face misdemeanor charges, other possible citations and utility shut-offs by the municipal Department of Water and Power.
“Nonessential businesses remaining open at this time jeopardize public health and safety,” City Atty. Mike Feuer told the publication, “and my office is committed to vigorously enforcing the mayor’s order.”
Snitching on your neighbor, an unknown organization threatening businesses with a cut-off of services and worse if they don’t obey the government…
Now I know what it was like to live in East Germany.