Most Americans are trying their best to find the patience to deal with not only the sudden emergence of a foreign disease and its economic impacts on their lives, but also an at times aggressive overreach by their government in response to it.
Months ago, when the coronavirus was a Chinese problem with apparently Chinese solutions, the troubles seemed so far away.
But with that virus coming to American shores and seeping into the heartland, it has also ushered in thuggish and at times autocratic behavior from authority figures that few of us probably ever thought we’d see in the United States — at least not so quickly.
With the importation of the Chinese coronavirus, some of the country’s leaders also brought in a totalitarian attitude that is profoundly un-American.
People have been arrested for refusing to stay in their homes. Stories about law-abiding American citizens being hectored by drones and police officers, or arrested for not following government orders on how to behave, are all too plentiful.
But news headlines and reports of arrests only carry so much weight.
Very seldom during this ordeal have we had a chance to witness up close the complete and utter disregard for liberty and common sense that we’ve heard so much about from those we’ve chosen to protect our safety and our liberty.
What happened to a Wisconsin mother this past week might be the most glaring example of official overreach we’ve seen. Thankfully, it was captured on video.
Two sheriff’s deputies in Calumet County, Wisconsin, confronted a mother after her daughter was playing with neighbor children in an exchange that should make your blood boil.
Amy Aries captured an exchange with the deputies on her mobile phone and shared the exchange on her Facebook page. It reads like it could have been written by George Orwell.
I want to share this with my friends and family as well as a great group of people I have been getting advice from . This happened to me yesterday at my home .
“Hi Amy. … Are you aware that we’re in a stay-at-home order right now?” a male deputy in the video sarcastically asked.
“Uh, yeah, obviously,” Aries responded.
“By the government of Wisconsin?” the deputy continued.
“Yes, I am aware,” Aries said.
“OK, you’re aware of that? So I don’t need to explain that to you?” he persisted.
Aries attempted to answer the deputy’s questions but was cut off.
“OK, because I can if you need me to. … Because your daughter is going to play at other people’s home, and you’re allowing it to happen.”
Aries explained the situation, but the deputy was having none of it.
“Stop having your kid go by other people’s home,” he ordered her.
The female deputy on the video then entered the conversation and ordered Aries to offer her full name, but Aries refused to comply.
“Are we done here?” the mom asked.
“No, we’re not,” the female deputy responded. “Your middle initial and last name.”
After Aries refused to offer any more of her time to the deputies, the female deputy’s icy words sounded like something out of a dystopian novel.
“That’ll be documented, too, that you were uncooperative,” the deputy said, adding as she walked away, “We’ll be back if your daughter is out.”
Both videos make it clear that the cure has become worse than the problem.
This is not America. COVID-19 has unmasked just how quickly government can become tyrannical.
Unless there is much more to this story, the video shows two domineering public servants bullying a mom because her child played at a neighbor’s house.
Law enforcement officers have a difficult job, and that deserves a lot of respect. But what happened on this video is indefensible.
The Calumet County Sheriff’s Office issued a response to the video on its Facebook page defending the officers and stating that this was not their first run-in with Aries.
“There’s a video circulating on social media showing two of our deputies trying to talk to a female about her daughter being at a neighbor’s residence. What the video does not show you is that this is the fifth contact we’ve had with this female within the recent weeks,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
The post said the office had been in contact with Aries numerous times — once because she was speeding — and that its deputies “are out there to help educate, not arrest, law abiding citizens.”
The sheriff’s office has protected the post from being shared, but you can read it in its entirety here.
I don’t buy it. This video shows two deputies on a power trip, neglecting to wear gloves and masks while intimidating an ordinary woman whose last name they apparently didn’t know despite multiple encounters with her.
“As an essential worker and a single parent I am doing the best I can just like everybody else to make it through this pandemic,” Aries told PJ Media of the encounter. “Unfortunately, I have had some circumstances where I needed law enforcement’s help, and when I turned to the very people who have taken an oath to serve and protect, I learned they are the ones who want me to fear them.”
The mom added: “I will stand for my family’s rights and the rights of Americans.”
In the second week of March, Americans were planning trips for spring break, cleaning their homes and preparing to lock away jackets and coats in closets in preparation for warmer weather.
Instead, we’ve all seen the disturbing reality of government officials drunk with power and veering into tyranny.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.