April 6, 2020


Are We Living in a Police State?


In Red Lion (York County) a 19-year-old woman was ticketed for going out for a drive on March 29.  York County was placed under a stay-at-home order on March 27th by Governor Wolf.  When first pulled over by the State Police, she was told it was for a broken taillight.  However, during the encounter the state trooper asked her if she was aware of the “stay-at-home act.”  She acknowledged she was but did not think it pertained to just driving. 

At the end of the encounter she was handed a citation for at least $202.25 and it stated she “failed to abide by the order of the Governor and Secretary of Health issued to control the spread of a communicable disease, requiring the closure of all non-life-sustaining businesses as of 20:00 hours on March 29, 2020. To wit, defendant states that she was ‘going for a drive’ after this violation was in effect.”

State Police Communications Director Ryan Tarkowski told FOX43, “Sunday Drives are not essential travel. Does that mean that everyone who goes for a drive will get cited/warned? Obviously not.  There are no roadblocks, check points, etc. Decisions to warn/cite are made based on the totality of the unique circumstances of each encounter. But to reiterate, Stay at Home means stay at home.”

The governor’s office offers similar guidelines, but also states that law enforcement “will be focused on ensuring that residents are aware of the order and informing the public of social distancing practices rather than enforcement.”

BTW – Turns out the young lady’s taillight was NOT malfunctioning!

Action Steps At a minimum, the governor needs to make sure the State Police ARE focused on informing the public of social distancing mandates rather than enforcement unless there is a situation such as the Lancaster County Columbia Borough Police found themselves.  We cannot become a nation with Gestapo-style enforcement of stay-at-home orders, even in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.      Contact Governor Wolf and demand clarification of his directive.

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