‘Flaunting’ of new health directives will result in arrest, say police in Nelson, B.C.
By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
THE NELSON DAILY
Arrests will be made if people insist on “flaunting the current health directions” regarding COVID-19 restrictions, the city’s chief constable has declared.
Donovan Fisher said Monday that, although they respect everyone’s right to choose, people who ignore the requirements for businesses to check for vaccinations will be arrested.
“For those of you who plan on making your point through bullying, coercion and intimidation, you will be arrested,” he said in a statement Monday morning, on the day the vaccination passport restrictions kicked in.
“For those who decide to participate in the planned ‘order and not pick up’ take out, you will be investigated and charged with fraud. Your rights don’t outweigh the rights of your other community members.”
The statements come right after consecutive months of the Nelson Police Department upholding freedom of speech and individual rights to protest.
Police attended and supervised a weekend protest outside the Nelson Provincial Court House on Saturday that drew hundreds of people, the latest protest delivered in a vocal but peaceful fashion.
“When those actions start to interfere with other people’s rights, the police can no longer work with or support these persons or organizations,” said Fisher.
He said the police will be siding with the businesses who are inspecting for the required vaccination documentation if there are planned protests and disruptions to businesses and, in particular, restaurants.
The fact that these businesses are individuals that are simply adhering to the requirements imposed on them should be respected, Fisher pointed out, since the businesses support many individuals, families and groups in the community.
“They have already suffered many setbacks and hardships due to COVID-19,” he said, “please don’t make the situation worse for your fellow community members.”
In order to prevent the bogus calls for take-out, Fisher said businesses can phone the customer’s call back number to confirm the legitimacy, and/or get credit cards or other payment methods over the phone prior to processing orders.
“(We) request that legitimate customers be understanding of these requests from businesses that need to protect themselves,” he said.