Despite a surge in COVID-19 cases, East Lansing Mayor fights to lower violator penalties

Local News

East Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) In the past seven days the East Lansing police department has issued two cease and desist orders to people throwing large gatherings without social distancing or wearing a mask.

Under current state guidelines if police were to be called to that residence a second time, they would be facing a criminal misdemeanor.

“We obviously don’t want to see things on peoples records for making a mistake in this light, however there do need to be consequences,” says East Lansing Mayor Aaron Stephens.

Right now, Mayor Stephens is fighting to change the misdemeanor charge to a civil infraction that would result in a fine. It’s unclear how much violators would be charged, but East Lansing’s Interim Police Chief Steve Gonzalez says, he doesn’t want to give them out.

“We certainly don’t want to be writing tickets, we don’t want to be issuing criminal charges for violations because ultimately the goal isn’t to issue charges the goal is to keep people safe.”

Both Stephens and Gonzalez agree, the majority of East Lansing’s community is doing their part and staying safe.

“The largest parties that we’ve seen this year are anywhere from 50-60 people which is significantly less than what we normally see in a normal school year its not uncommon to see parties of 200,300 or even 400 people,” says Chief Gonzalez.

If all goes according to plan, Mayor Stephens says the new ordinance could go into affect by the end of the month.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Michigan Headlines

More Michigan

StormTracker 6 Radar