California sheriff refuses to enforce state's coronavirus stay-at-home orders: 'Doesn't make sense anymore'

Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco Credit: Riverside County Sheriff's Department

Riverside County, Calif. Sheriff Chad Bianco said Friday that he refuses to make criminals out of law-abiding business owners exercising their constitutional rights and providing for their families.

A video of Bianco pleading his case before his county's Board of Supervisors, stating he would not enforce local coronavirus lockdown protocol, went viral on Tuesday.

Appearing on "Fox & Friends" with host Steve Doocy, Bianco explained that the "situation" in Riverside County under state orders is "nothing like they told us it was going to be in the beginning."

RELATED: Riverside County's reopening phase includes department stores, home furnishing stores, with restrictions

"It's time to get back opening up our businesses and letting our people do what our normal business activities are," he said. "And, you know, you just can't arrest somebody for going out and exercising in public or not wearing a mask. You know, at the same time they are trying to force me to release real criminals from jail. They want me to make criminals out of law-abiding citizens that are, you know, trying to support a family. It doesn't make sense anymore."


Additionally, Bianco told Doocy he feels that the government cannot pick and choose which businesses stay open and which close because every job is essential to somebody.

"You know, my job certainly is essential, but so is the job that is putting food on somebody's table," he remarked. "You know, a single mom that has three jobs to support her kids -- her job is more essential to her than mine is to me."

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"The government should not be picking and choosing who gets to open. It doesn't make sense that a small business can't open but we can all go shoulder-to-shoulder in Costcos and Home Depots and that's OK. But, we can't responsibly go into smaller businesses and, you know, do what we're supposed to be doing by keeping apart," Bianco continued.

Bianco said residents can act responsibly and "don't need the government being our parents." He said the number of coronavirus cases in the area "are not coming out like they told us in the beginning" so people need to be able to go back to work and provide for their families.

RELATED: Stay up to date on all coronavirus-related information

The board of supervisors is continuing deliberation over whether to remove the county health officer’s order later Friday.