Dost thou promise to social distance amid the saying of vows? Some folks did not, which caused complications for those getting married in Lakewood, New Jersey, last week.
Police last week dispersed multiple weddings that violated an order issued by New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy banning groups of more than 50 people from gathering in one place, due to the coronavirus.
Police broke up two weddings on Tuesday, according to local U.S. news outlet Patch. Then came another gathering on Thursday, and on Friday police broke up a wedding at the home of Eliyohu Zaks, 49, another article from Patch reported.
The crowd was dispered and Zaks was charged with maintaining a nuisance.
“The Lakewood Police is asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those that choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution,” police said in a statement, according to KYW.
Lakewood police said that overall they had responded to 17 calls about gatherings that allegedly violated the directive.
Lakewood Capt. Gregory Staffordsmith said the virus “has presented its own unprecedented challenges to law enforcement this week. However, the Lakewood Police Department, along with our local, county, and state counterparts, have adapted and will continue to provide the best service we can in the safest manner possible for all parties.”
“We encourage everyone to engage in behavior that will help prevent its spread,” Staffordsmith said. “The Lakewood Police are asking that its citizens be responsible and obey the directives set forth by the State of New Jersey for the safety and health of all. Those who choose not to will be subject to criminal prosecution.”
Murphy said it more directly.
“It is time to cut the crap,” the Democratic governor said. “We simply cannot have this, whether it’s weddings, funerals, baptisms. … It has to be enforced and it will be enforced aggressively.”
“It’s not because we’re trying to be jerks,” Murphy said. “It’s because we’re trying to lessen the stress on the health care system.”
While Cities Let Criminals Run Loose During Virus Scare, Police in New Jersey Arrest Homeowner for Hosting a Pop-up Wedding https://t.co/v73CzVvVin
— Big League Politics (@bigleaguepol) March 21, 2020
Commentator Todd Starnes, on his website, seemed to assess blame on all sides.
“The governor and the wedding host need to understand that just because you may have the right to do something, doesn’t mean you should,” he wrote.
New Jerseyans can still take a walk outside, go buy groceries, or get take-out from a local restaurant.
But, otherwise, STAY AT HOME.
This is a time for us all to come together to flatten the curve, slow, and eventually halt the spread of #COVID19.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 21, 2020
On Saturday, Murphy simply banned weddings as part of his order to keep all 9 million New Jersey residents indoors.
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