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 is a reporter for WORLD Digital based in Abuja, Nigeria.