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Salon owner’s arrest sparks controversy

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 5/07/20, 01:05 pm

The Texas Supreme Court has ordered Dallas County to release a jailed hair salon owner by 4 p.m. CDT on Thursday. Dallas officials booked Shelley Luther on Tuesday after she defied state coronavirus shutdown orders and ripped up a cease-and-desist letter. Authorities issued her a citation last month after she reopened her salon before receiving authorization and refused to close again. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on Wednesday condemned the Dallas County judge who handed down the weeklong prison sentence, calling the penalty excessive. He also revised his executive order so that people who refuse to comply cannot be jailed.

Why did she defy the ban? Luther said she reopened her business with enhanced cleaning and social distancing procedures because she did not receive federal loan assistance until Sunday and she and her stylists were struggling to feed their families. Luther refused Dallas County Judge Eric Moyé’s offer to reduce her sentence to a fine if she apologized. Online fundraising efforts to support Luther raised more than $440,000 by Wednesday evening.

Dig deeper: Read Steve West’s report in Liberties on how extended stay-at-home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19 have sparked protests.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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    Posted: Thu, 05/07/2020 04:43 pm

    It's a sad day when someone is put in jail which makes them vulnerable to catching the virus.

    They have put lives in jeopardy by doing that, not just her life, but anyone she has come in contact with since being in jail.

    By putting her in jail she might even have brought the virus into the jail system. 

    Stupid is as stupid does.

    I'm thankful the Gov. revised his exec. order. 

  • Steve Shive
    Posted: Fri, 05/08/2020 06:54 am

    The issue here is the lunacy of what the government is insisting on. This has little, if anything, to do with whether or not she has, or might share, or might be infected with, the virus. It is about government over reach. It is about so much that will come back to haunt us as we sit back and do nothing while the politicians take away everything we believe in, ostensibly, to protect us. It is all too often the Nanny Government protecting us from whatever... And everyone loses.

    BTW note the officer who wears his mask NOT COVERING his nose. That makes this all even sillier.