Police all throughout the Garden State have indicated that they will be cracking down on violations of Governor Phil Murphy’s decrees, which restrict all public gatherings and non-essential business activity. Authorities are planning to specifically target businesses such as bars and restaurants that stay open despite the ban.
Law enforcement will also keep tabs on residents who decide to try to throw parties at their homes and invite dozens of people, which is also against the new rules. No gatherings other than those involving family members and residents of the same household are allowed during this time, as well as visits to close friends and relatives.
“Law enforcement officers will have to break that party up, and there will be criminal consequences,” stated New Jersey Attorney General Gurbir Grewal during a recent press conference. “The time for warnings is over. And the time to ensure compliance by using all of the tool available to us is here.”
There are all sorts of charges that can be levied at offenders, it turns out. Everything from disorderly conduct to indictable offenses are on the table depending on the crime committed. And New Jersey police are ready to dole it all out as they discover it.
In a worst-case scenario, offenders could have to pay a $1,000 fine or spend up to six months in the slammer, all for violating the governor’s orders to stay home in response to the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19).
“Folks need to be jolted,” Murphy announced on Sunday after deciding to ratchet up his response upon learning that some New Jersey residents had been violating his orders. “All residents are to stay inside if you do not need to be out,” he added, noting that he was “really damned unhappy” to hear that not everyone was abiding by his rules.