Hunter clarifies Governor’s Executive Order regarding law enforcement action for non-compliance

Ponca City Now - March 26, 2020 4:44 pm

OKLAHOMA CITY – Attorney General Mike Hunter today released the following information regarding law enforcement action relating to individuals or business owners that do not comply with the governor’s March 24 executive order.

“The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to act in the best interest of their fellow citizens,”  Hunter said. “What we are calling on more than anything, is for Oklahomans to be good citizens, good neighbors and comply with the governor’s executive order, as well as the ordinances of local governments, to protect one another from this deadly illness.​

“While a violation of an executive order can be a misdemeanor, law enforcement officers are counseled to inform and persuade to effect compliance when confronted with violations, emphasizing the gravity of the ongoing public health emergency we are experiencing.

“This is not intended to undercut law enforcement’s ability to make decisions based on their training, discretion and the facts of any given situation. Rather, this statement is provided to support and enable law enforcement to make sound, fact based decisions given the circumstances while appropriately balancing the interests of public safety and public health.

“We are in an unprecedented time. The Coronavirus has and will continue to cause profound disruptions in everyone’s lives and livelihoods and we are all painfully aware of those who have become ill or tragically, have died. But rest assured, by following the advice of our state, municipal, county and federal leaders, and complying with the measures laid out in the governor’s executive order, we will save lives.”

Facts Concerning the Governor’s Executive Order

  •  It does not impose martial law;
  • Individuals can still be charged with a misdemeanor. However, it is up to law enforcement’s discretion on who does or does not need to be arrested for violating the executive order or another misdemeanor crime;
  • The guidelines in the governor’s executive order call for Oklahomans to do what is in the best interest of the public health of their fellow citizens; and
  • More resources and information can be found at the Oklahoma Department of Health’s website, here: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/.
 

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