Sheriff & TPD shoot down more rumors surrounding COVID-19

Grady County Sheriff Jim Weir is dispelling rumors again this week after several people began asking if martial law had been declared. Sheriff Weir and other county officials dealt with a couple of false flags before the coronavirus ever hit Grady County.

District 1 County Commissioner Michael Walker responded to those situations, saying “During our Commissioners’ meeting, we discussed a plan for if a case of the coronavirus is discovered in Grady County. It was our first issue. People who make up these things are basically starting a riot, and that is unnecessary.”

Misinformation can be a bigger problem than this virus, because it impedes authorities as they work to safeguard our communities.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, martial law is defined as “military government, involving the suspension of ordinary law.”

It would take a declaration from Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt or United States President Donald Trump to kick off martial law. Unless that happens, Americans and Oklahomans remain free citizens who can go where they please whenever they want to go, as long as they aren’t breaking any already-established laws. However, health professionals discourage any unnecessary travel. Also, some of the municipalities, counties and states that have seen outbreaks could impose lockdowns that would be more restrictive. Even then, that’s not martial law.

You don’t need a letter, a work badge, or permits to prove you are on your way to work at an essential job during the COVID-19 crisis, not in Grady County anyway. You also do not have to show proof you are going to the doctor or going to get groceries or prescriptions. There is no curfew either.

Governor Stitt issued an updated executive order Tuesday requiring vulnerable residents to stay home, closing non-essential businesses, prohibiting social gatherings of more than 10 people, and other steps to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

What he did not do was order Martial Law, tell Oklahomans to go under lockdown, or say a person can’t drive from Point A to Point B or even C or D. Law Enforcement will not stop you and ask for your ‘papers’. That’s not to stay if Law Enforcement has a reason to stop you, you won’t get stopped. Just be safe, be careful, practice social distancing and be smart. These are different and difficult times we are living in, but we are all in this together. For more information, check out Governor Stitt’s Facebook page.”

To reach the Grady County Sheriff’s Office administration during office hours call 405-222-5085. To call to report a non emergency event 24 hours a day, call our Dispatch Center at 405-224-0984. As always, in case of an emergency, call 911. To contact the Grady County Law Enforcement Center (the jail) please call 405-222-1000.

 

Police in Tuttle posted to Facebook Wednesday, March 25, “There is a rumor going around that if you are driving in Tuttle after midnight you will be stopped and fined. This is not true.”

Two days later, they posted this:

As the COVID-19 outbreak continues, anecdotal stories and experiences begin to emerge. The information overload is unlikely to stop any time soon, so we want to take a moment to remind you about the importance of making sure the information you’re hearing (and sharing) is accurate.

Here are a few tips for you to ensure you’re hearing or reading the real deal:

Consider the source when receiving text messages or app messages that oversell the authority of the message sender. A friend of a friend who knows someone is probably not a reliable source, so proceed with caution until you can validate it’s credible.
Fact check. Did you read a post that said your local legislator made a decision to “lockdown” your community? Check his or her official page for confirmation before proceeding.
Determine where you want to gather your primary information and stick to that source as your true north. The OSDH (Oklahoma State Department of Health), the CDC (Center for Disease Control), and the WHO (World Health Organization) are the overarching public health experts on COVID-19.

Misinformation can cause additional fear, anxiety, and concern in today’s news cycle. A healthy dose of skepticism will help ensure the information you are receiving, and sharing is helpful, and not harmful.

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