Attorney General Grewal Urges Public to Comply with Emergency Orders or Face Law Enforcement Action – “Stay Home and Stay Safe” Is Not Just Good Advice During COVID-19 Emergency – It`s the Law

TRENTON – Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal today urged the public and business owners to comply with the Governor’s emergency orders – not only to keep themselves and others healthy, but to avoid creating more work and risks for hard-pressed law enforcement officers. He warned that those who fail to comply will be held accountable, citing numerous cases where charges have been filed for violations of the orders or other offenses related to the coronavirus.

“Our police officers are going above and beyond the call of duty during this health crisis.  Unfortunately, they are being called upon far too often to deal with people violating the orders put in place to protect us all – or what is more egregious, people falsely using the coronavirus to spread fear or impede officers in their vital work,” said Attorney General Grewal. “Staying home and maintaining social distance is not just good advice to stay healthy, it’s the law. Make no mistake, we will do what it takes to keep our residents and police officers safe, and that means we won’t hesitate to file criminal charges against those who violate the emergency orders.”   

“Once again, New Jersey citizens are facing a crisis with unwavering resolve, fortitude and perseverance, because the vast majority of our residents and businesses are complying with Governor Murphy's executive order, which must be strictly adhered to in order to prevent community spread of COVID-19,” said Colonel Patrick Callahan, Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. “As we work collectively to accomplish this goal, it is imperative that businesses and residents follow the protocols set forth in the executive order. Failure to do so will result in a swift response from law enforcement.”

Here are some of the recent enforcement actions taken, as well as other cases where individuals were charged by law enforcement with crimes related to COVID-19:

If you are seeing a lack of compliance in your town, please contact your local police department or report here

The Attorney General’s Office and New Jersey State Police will continue to work with law enforcement throughout New Jersey to deter non-complaint behavior.

The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

No one should take advantage of this pandemic to further their own biased agendas.  COVID-19 is no excuse to promote anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and or other biased stereotypes.  Please report bias crimes at 1-800-277-BIAS.

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