Cuomo says sheriffs who don’t want to enforce his coronavirus restrictions are “dictators”
By Arsenio Toledo // Dec 02, 2020

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lashed out in anger after learning that many sheriffs in his state are refusing to enforce his new Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) restrictions, calling them “dictators.”


At least four sheriffs in New York announced on social media that their offices will not be enforcing the new coronavirus lockdown regulations, including one rule that limits the number of people allowed to gather indoors. These sheriffs assert that their jurisdictions do not extend inside people's homes and that the new orders are unconstitutional.

In a press briefing, Cuomo addressed the situation by trying to tell the sheriffs how to do their jobs.

“I believe that law enforcement officer violates his or her constitutional duty. I don't consider them a law enforcement officer. Because you don't have the right to pick laws that you think you will enforce, and you don't enforce laws that you don't agree with. Right. That's not a law enforcement officer. That's a dictator. God bless you, but don't ask me for help.”

Cuomo further emphasized that the state government has the right to enforce its laws inside people's homes and that the law doesn't suddenly get nullified as soon as people enter their houses.

“You want to be able to act irresponsibly but then [because of your actions] endanger the ambulance driver and endanger the nurse and endanger the doctor,” he added. “It's not like your actions only affect you.” (Related: Cuomo receives Emmy for best actor in COVID-19 performance, proving it's all theater.)

Cuomo's limit on gatherings prevents private indoor events that include more than 10 people. The New York State Sheriff's Association issued a statement right before the Thanksgiving holiday criticizing Cuomo's executive order, stating that they have neither the resources nor the legal authority to enforce such an unconstitutional mandate.

In their statement, the sheriff's association urged citizens to remain informed regarding the coronavirus and the best ways people can take care of each other, to listen to public health officials and to limit their exposure to people from outside of their household “as much as you reasonably can.”

“If we all do that, we will sooner be able to get back to normal. We in law enforcement do not have the resources nor the legal authority to force you to do those things. It is a matter of individual responsibility and we are confident that you will all voluntarily rise to the occasion.”

Cuomo warns that parts of New York could go back under very restrictive lockdowns

Because of the rise of coronavirus infection rates in New York, Cuomo is warning residents that they could face new restrictions on their activities if the trend continues.

“We have several communities that are in the warning track,” said Cuomo. “Right now … unless they dramatically change the trajectory of the infection rate, this week, they will go into those zones.”

While Cuomo singled out Staten Island as a place of grave concern, he also warned that parts of Manhattan and Long Island are also on track to be placed under more severe restrictions.

“Staten Island is a serious problem,” he said. “Staten Island is also a problem in terms of overburdening hospitals, and we're running into a hospital capacity issue on Staten Island that we have to have to be dealing with in coming days.”

New York's coronavirus zones are color-coded into red, orange and yellow areas. Red zones are hot spots, orange zones are areas of heightened concern and yellow zones are precautionary areas.

Cuomo also warned that the Upper Manhattan area, as well as the Suffolk and Nassau Counties on Long Island, will turn into yellow zones.

This means that in-person indoor and outdoor dining and other similar gatherings will be limited to four people per table and indoor capacity will be reduced to 25 percent of their limit. Places of worship will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity. While public schools will be forced to shut down, private schools may remain open if they test their students and personnel for the coronavirus.

These new restrictions will follow up several other restrictions enacted by the governor previously, such as the closure of bars and restaurants that have liquor licenses by 10 p.m.

Learn more about how state and local officials are continuing to enforce restrictive lockdown measures by reading the latest articles at

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