Iron County Sheriff Defends Refusal To Enforce Mask Mandate

Nov 18, 2020, 10:07 AM | Updated: 10:27 am

CEDAR CITY, Utah – Iron County Sheriff Kenneth Carpenter is defending his decision of refusing to enforce Gov. Gary Herbert’s mask mandate.

The sheriff released a statement on Facebook that says the mandate isn’t just unconstitutional, it’s responsible for an increase in aggravated assaults linked to domestic violence, suicide and unintended deaths.

In a page-long statement, Carpenter wrote that he wants people to know the reasons he won’t enforce a mandate.

While he has lots of support on the Facebook post, some people, like Jillian Seymour are upset.

“It just makes me feel like Iron County has been very selfish. Through this whole thing, I felt like they were above everybody,” she said.

Seymour believes if county leaders “bought in” to masks, more people would wear them.

“Let’s tell people it doesn’t matter if they wear a mask or not. And then people are gonna feel like, ‘Well, they don’t feel that it’s worth it, they don’t feel like they have to be responsible, so why do I?’” she said.

Seymour said, unlike northern Utah, many people don’t wear masks in Iron County. For her it’s a problem because she has a compromised immune system.

The sheriff said the mandate violates constitutional rights. He goes on to say there needs to be solutions to not only the spread of COVID-19, but the mental health and well-being of his community. He said he believes part of the solution is to end mandates.

While the sheriff believes the mask mandate should be lifted, he also urged the people in his county to “lift the burdens from friends and neighbors” and “show consideration” to those concerned about coronavirus.

He closed his letter by writing the sheriff’s office “cares about those living in Iron County and appreciates the risk health care professionals are taking in treating those adversely affected by COVID-19.”

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Iron County Sheriff Defends Refusal To Enforce Mask Mandate