DETROIT, MI – A video was left in the pending approval posts for a group on Facebook that shows several vehicles in one of the parking lots at Rouge Park. Some people were inside of their vehicles. Some were not. It appears that they were having a parking lot party of sorts.
As the video continues to be recorded, one can clearly see that a Detroit Police Officer enters the parking lot. He drives through the lot as though its a normal early Spring day. Only this is not a normal day. This day is Wednesday March 25th, 2020. An Executive Order from the Governor is to be enforced due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has taken the nation by storm. It has upended everyone’s normal daily life.
To combat the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order # 2020-21 on March 23rd, 2020. Effective March 24th, 2020, at 12:02 a.m., and continuing through April 13th, 2020, at 11:59 p.m., in accordance with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor. Any person found to be guilty of violating the order can be fined up to $500.
The order directs residents in the state of Michigan to stay in their homes unless they are a part of the critical infrastructure workforce, engages in an outdoor activity (walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity), or performing tasks necessary to ensure the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.
Sitting in a vehicle or standing outside of your car in a parking lot in Rouge Park would not seem to qualify as being a legitimate reason to be gathered as the people were yesterday afternoon. All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited in Gov. Whitmer’s Executive Order.
It was later found after this article was published that tickets were given to those in the area.