Mayors are asking Gov. Greg Abbott for the power to jail people who go about their cities without face coverings. The mayors say the power is needed to slow the spread of the Chinese coronavirus.
In a letter to Gov. Abbott, eight mayors are wanting the authority to deal with people who are “still refusing to wear these face coverings” despite requests to do so.
Among those signing the letter were: Houston’s Sylvester Turner, Austin’s Steve Adler, San Antonio’s Ron Nirenberg, Dallas’ Eric Johnson, Fort Worth’s Betsy Price, El Paso’s Dee Margo, Arlington’s Jeff Williams, Plano’s Harry LaRosiliere, and Grand Prairie’s Ron Jensen.
Previously, in March and April, Austin’s Adler and the Travis County judge (Democrat Sarah Eckhardt) decreed that anyone not wearing a mask in public could be fined up to $1,000 or even imprisoned for six months. Dallas County issued a similar decree at the same time.
Gov. Abbott eventually stopped those actions, saying local officials lacked the authority to throw citizens in jail for not wearing a mask.
Former GOP State Rep. Matt Rinaldi mocked the mayors’ latest bid for additional authority to jail Texans:
Cities not charging rioters now want the power to prosecute law abiding citizens who choose not to wear face diapers. https://t.co/DFaw3zFARQ
— Matt Rinaldi (@MattRinaldiTX) June 16, 2020