COVID-19 Protest Permit + Police Officers Refusing to Enforce Shelter in Place

Dear Chief of Berkeley Police Greenwood,

I am writing to inquire as to the extent and manner to which you intend to enforce the blatantly unconstitutional Shelter in Place orders issued by our Health Officer, the Alameda County, and the Governor, including the order demanding use of masks.

Law enforcement officers from Texas to Michigan to Washington and around the nation are increasingly refusing to enforce these blatantly unlawful orders (please reference
https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/22/police-have-started-revolting-against-draconian-coronavirus-edicts-from-local-tyrants/).

Please also reference the following statements by respected members of the law enforcement community:

– Houston, Texas Police Officers’ Union:
https://twitter.com/HPOUTX/status/1252982197428027402
– Snohomish County Sheriff Adam Fortney:
https://www.facebook.com/adamfortneyforsheriff/posts/2754200934627471
– Franklin County Sheriff J.D. Raymond:
https://www.facebook.com/FCSheriffsOffice/posts/3128915050485751

Like yourself, these law enforcement officers swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.

Do you, as the Berkeley Chief of Police, intend to honor your oath and uphold the Constitution, thus protecting my rights and those of all Berkeley citizens?

Are you willing to respect the Constitution in allowing Berkeley businesses that have been arbitrarily and unlawfully deemed “non-essential” to re-open immediately?

Are you willing to respect the Constitution in allowing Berkeley houses of worship to re-open immediately, allowing our citizens the very same rights of free assembly they currently have when shopping at Walmart? Would you cite or arrest community members who choose to violate the unlawful order by gathering for a religious discussion over dinner?

What exactly is your current policy in granting protest permits, should one wish to exercise our Constitutional right to peaceful assembly regarding the unlawful Shelter in Place orders? Will you be taking the same stance as the Raleigh Police who literally deemed protesting a non-essential activity?

Consider this letter a formal request for a permit for a weekly rally to be held every Saturday from 12-4pm in front of City Hall. I separately request confirmation that BPD will not threaten, cite, nor arrest any person who exercises their Constitutional right to not wear face coverings/masks, nor anyone who otherwise disobeys the unlawful “orders”.

As you are likely aware, attorney Harmeet K. Dhillon has previously successfully pierced the qualified immunity of San Jose police officers (Hernandez v. City of San Jose), and is now suing Governor Newsom, as well as numerous counties in California regarding the Shelter in Place and related orders, especially as they apply to our Constitutional right to worship freely. In short, you clearly must understand that should you choose to violate the Constitution, your own qualified immunity will not apply in the inevitable litigation.

America is the most badass nation on the global stage because we have consistently valued liberty more important than life itself. We have also consistently been willing to make the sacrifices necessary to have the most powerful and admired economy. Now is the time to protect our values, as enshrined in our Constitution. I hope you will choose to honor your oath to the Constitution and that I will not be forced to sue you in order to protect my rights.

I firmly intend to aggressively assert my Constitutional rights. I am hoping you will agree that dialogue is the best course of action in these difficult circumstances.

Respectfully,

Vladislav Davidzon
CC: tens of thousands of Berkeley residents and select news media