A Michigan barber compared the state's lockdown orders to the Holocaust after police handed out citations for a statehouse stunt.
Barbers gave out free haircuts to demonstrators Wednesday outside the state Capitol as part of an ongoing protest against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's executive orders closing or limiting business activity during the coronavirus pandemic, reported MLive.
State police handed out $500 citations for disorderly conduct to seven barbers and stylists cutting hair, and a pair of Michigan Militia members -- one armed with a rifle -- shouted at officers.
“They were warned that if they continue to cut hair they will be cited; and then finally they were cited as a disorderly person," said state police spokeswoman Shannon Banner. "A person convicted of disorderly person/conduct is subject to up to 90 days in jail or a fine of no more than $500, or both.”
Angela Regas, whose citation prompted the protest from militia members, said she would fight the citation in court.
“I just took the citation,” said Regas, of Caledonia. “I just took it and I’ll fight it. I’m not worried, and I have a lot of friends and a lot of supporters here today that will support me no matter what happens today.”
Karl Manke, the Owosso barber whose defiance of Whitmer's orders prompted the demonstration and has drawn national attention, compared the governor's public health orders to Nazi Germany sending Jews to their deaths in the Holocaust.
“These older people in Germany were told in reels and movies and types of propaganda coming out at the time, that they could get into these cattle cars, and would be taken to these new homes,” Make said. “They willingly got into those cattle cars. I will not be placed into a cattle car.”
The conservative group that organized the demonstration promised to pay the fines through a GoFundMe fundraiser.
MLive noted that Michigan has confirmed 53,009 cases of COVID-19 through Wednesday, including 5,060 deaths, and Shiawassee County, where Manke operates his shop, has confirmed 235 cases and 21 deaths.