Mid-Michigan sheriff clarifies controversial Facebook post

Published: Jul. 31, 2020 at 10:57 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) (07/31/2020)-The reaction to a controversial Facebook post calling out the governor has a central Michigan sheriff walking some of it back tonight.

“I was pretty upset yesterday when I wrote that.”

Clare County Sheriff John Wilson, clarifying comments made in a controversial Facebook post to ABC 12 Friday.

“It made some people mad,” related Wilson. “But, if you look at the posts, the majority of people… were happy with it.”

The sheriff tells ABC 12 he was upset after he says a gun show was allowed to move forward while a children's livestock auction in the same building was not because it fell under a different set of guidelines.

Wilson posted the following to his personal Facebook page: “There are different RULES??? COVID or not, leave these kids out of it. They have planned it according to YOUR rules, then you changed them at the last minute.”

“Let us have some input on this,” urged Wilson. “Give us a heads up when you’re going to change the executive orders. None of that was done.”

In the post, which has since racked up around 500 likes, Wilson went on to demand Whitmer, “Stay in LANSING, we will do what we will in FREE MICHIGAN!! YUP I said it. I’m done with unconstitutional ### from the SWAMP!”

“That, to me, seems to step up the rhetoric?”

“It gets to the point where you get beat down by this stuff,” responded Wilson. “Where you don’t see the fairness in it.”

Executive orders 2020-160 and 2020-161 restrict indoor gatherings to ten or fewer people but differentiate between general gatherings and retail, which is instead determined using square footage. Governor Whitmer responded to the post via Up North media Friday:

“I think it’s unfortunate that politics has been infused into what is a public health crisis,” opined Whitmer. “I want to save the lives of people in Clare County as well as every other county in the State of Michigan and that’s the work that I’m doing.”

“I wouldn’t want to be a governor right now, I’ll be honest with you,” said Wilson. “There’s no governor that’s going to win many votes right now.”

Other local top cops have also shed doubt on the legality of Whitmer’s orders, including the sheriffs of Shiawassee, Gratiot, Macomb, Benzie and Leelanau. Wilson tells ABC 12 he doesn’t have a problem following the rules. It’s the perceived double standard he’s railing against.

“We’re following all of the executive orders up here,” assured Wilson. “We’re educating people on them. We’re not disregarding them.”

Sheriff Wilson made it clear he doesn’t condone a disregard for the precautions in place. He views coronavirus as a threat and vowed to continue enforcing the rules to stop its spread.

ABC 12 reached out to the governor’s office for further clarification of these latest executive orders but has not heard back.

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