Did WA State ‘Encourage’ Citizens to Report Mask Violations?
With the announcement by Pullman Police that they would begin enforcing penalties for persons allegedly violating mask mandates, we saw something on the Pullman City Proclamation that made us take another look.
In the Pullman City information about what the police will be enforcing, it told citizens where to go to report a 'business violation,' which led us to that infamous "snitch" page that was in the news months ago.
This page is where one would go to 'turn in' a business they believe is violating Inslee's Safe Start programs. These are the lines in question:
"If you want to report an individual or private group that is not following the proclamation, contact your local law enforcement agency. DO NOT call 911. Please refer to the law enforcement agency website for directions on how to file a complaint or use the agency’s non-emergency number.
Gov. Jay Inslee and the state Department of Health have issued orders that limit non-essential business activity, require businesses to adopt appropriate health and safety measures for staff and customers, and require individuals to wear a face covering when in most public spaces."
(Red lettering added for emphasis.)
It's pretty clear his proclamations include mask madates, so it's quite clear the state is in a not so subtle way encouraging people to turn others in. Most local law enforcement agencies we are aware of did not enforce business violations or mask violations. They're far too busy trying to uphold the law and protect citizens. But this language appears to encourage citizens to report what they claim are violations, to local law enforcement.
But this has grabbed the attention of many as Pullman appears to be the first department who are going to actively enforce mask policies.
It will be interesting to see what happens, especially persons who are medically exempt via the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act.