Michigan AG blasts barber who defied lockdown order: ‘He’s not a patriot’

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Michigan‘s attorney general blasted a 77-year-old barber who opened his shop last week in defiance of state lockdown orders while questioning his patriotism.

Dana Nessel made her remarks in reference to Karl Manke, owner of Manke’s Barber & Beauty Shop in Owosso, Mich., who reopened his doors last week and had armed militia members standing guard outside in case the police arrived.

“We’re not looking to throw people in jail,” Nessel said. “That is, to me, a very, very, very last resort. We want him to discontinue his conduct, which we think is aiding and abetting in the spread of the virus.

“Mr. Manke, he’s not a hero to me,” she added. “He’s not a patriot. A patriot is a person that fights all enemies, foreign and domestic, and does everything possible to protect his fellow countrymen and countrywomen. And to me, Mr. Manke is doing just the opposite of that, and he’s being selfish in his behavior in that what he’s doing is allowing the virus to spread.”

Manke was issued a cease-and-desist order and two misdemeanor citations that could result in fines totaling over $1,000, but he refused to close. He said he returned to work when he ran into financial trouble after being shut down in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Under Whitmer’s strict stay-at-home orders, hair salons and barbershops have been closed for weeks to curb infections. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has faced criticism and armed protests over her restrictions.


On Wednesday, Manke had his license temporarily stripped after a judge declined to shut down his shop without first holding a hearing.

“I feel [Whitmer’s] breaking the law I feel she’s entered into a police state type of situation now,” he said. “Getting me and taking my license without due process, just pulling my license is a police state tactic.”

Fox News’ Stephen Sorace contributed to this report.

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