Charges against “Operation Haircut” protestors dismissed

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Brandi Bates gives Mike Greenbauer a free haircut at the State Capitol during a rally in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, May 20, 2020. Barbers and hair stylists are protesting the state???s stay-at-home orders, a defiant demonstration that reflects how salons have become a symbol for small businesses that are eager to reopen two months after the COVID-19 pandemic began. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)– Today District Court Judge Kristen D. Simmons dismissed all criminal charges filed by the Michigan Attorney General’s office against six hairstylists who participated in Operation Haircut. 

That protest took place in May at the Capitol in Lansing and was in support of Owosso barber Karl Manke, who went against the Governor’s Executive Orders and continue to cut hair despite orders to shut down amid the outbreak of COVID-19.

Attorney David A. Kallman who represents six of the seven people charged issued the following statement following the dismissal:

“Our clients are pleased that Judge Simmons recognized and upheld their constitutional rights. It is a relief that they no longer face the prospect of having a criminal record and potential jail time for merely exercising their right to peaceably speak out.  If a person protests certain issues, the Governor will ignore her own orders and walk with you; but if a person protests the Governor, she will prosecute you and attempt to destroy your business. Kallman Legal Group will always vigorously defend everyone’s right to protest and engage in free speech, no matter the issue.”

All six are still facing administrative licensing complaints brought by the State. The Michigan Conservative Coalition organized the Operation Haircut Protest and supported all six protestors.

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