A Christmas Eve tale, culled from Nextdoor:
"Riot @ Grocery Outlet Watt & Whitney. Last night, approx 6pm, a group of “no-maskers” swarmed the store, somewhere between 50 & 100 ppl. They carried a flag (couldn’t c what it said) & playing metalica/rap music at top volume, all while shouting & video taping. Their msg, apparently were that their rights were being violated by mandatory mask wearing. Apparently, one of their group had been refused svc a few wks ago for refusing to wear one. It’s posted ON the door & again inside the door that it is a masked facility. I’m retired & work part time there, as many of us do. It was terrifying. The vibe these ppl brought was hateful. Customers ran out of the store, leaving their groceries behind. The 911 call was “unless lives were endangered”. They showed up after the fact. The siege lasted approx 1/2 hr, all the while terrorizing employees & customers alike. Why? All for enforcing the “U GOTTA WEAR A MASK RULE”! Meantime, private owners of Grocery Outlet, Brian & Debra Bell lost out on the revenue of shoppers at the time but they also had to close down for the night. Folks, this is a family-owned business just trying to follow the day-to-day guidelines. What happened to THEIR rights!? Things are getting too far gone; temps are rising & ppl are looking for a way to let out their violent tendencies. I witnessed it & it was scary- those ppl were just anxiously HOPING violence would erupt. SHAME HEAPED UPON YOU!!! All over wearing a mask. Shame on u all involved. The rest of u, pls support this family-owned business!"
And a pretty good summary from one of the comments on Nextdoor: "Kudos to Grocery Outlet for following precautions; curses on the anti-maskers for ignoring reasonable measures that endangered everyone in the store; and, shame on the police for ignoring the life-threatening aspects of the risk of exposure posed to the public." (The elves here in the newsroom added the emphasis about Sheriff's deputies showing up afterwards.) Our Sheriff, Scott Jones, is responsible for providing our community with law enforcement. Whether you do or don't agree with his personal opinion about enforcing COVID restrictions, those restrictions are in place, put there by the state and by the County. So when a mob invades your store, you have a reasonable expectation that the local law enforcement people will show up soon to deal with the problem. That's their job, you see. When they don't show up until well after the smoke has cleared, they have seriously dropped the ball. It doesn't matter whether the 911 dispatcher screwed up or the deputies screwed up, or someone else screwed up - the store owners and their workers - who had dutifully followed the law - were in danger, as were their customers.
Close your eyes now. Imagine the aftermath if Arden Arcade had been a city: emphatic complaints to the City Council representative, the City Council and the Mayor resulting in a Police Chief being called on the carpet and some heads being rolled. The City cares because it has to. Then open your eyes and acknowledge the aftermath in our real world, the one where the County rules the roost: emphatic complaints to the Sheriff's Office voice message mailbox, unanswered emails to the Board of Supervisors, apologies to the complaining citizens from the Deputies at the bi-monthly Sheriff's meeting at Country Club Lanes. That's it - nothing changes. The County doesn't care because it doesn't have to.
Are you OK with what happened? Are you OK with how the County rolls?