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Rep. Crenshaw slams ‘small-minded leaders drunk with power’ for arresting business owner

Congressman Dan Crenshaw speaks at a Texas Public Policy Foundation event in Austin on Wednesday, January 22, 2020. (LOLA GOMEZ / AMERICAN-STATESMAN, TNS).
May 06, 2020

Former U.S. Navy SEAL and Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw slammed local governments for excessive punishments after Texas salon owner Shelley Luther was arrested and sentenced to jail for breaking coronavirus lockdown orders.

In a tweet, Crenshaw responded to a televised court proceeding broadcast over the Zoom teleconference service in which Luther said she would not apologize for opening her salon or the assertion that she was selfish for doing so. Luther was eventually sentenced, to which Crenshaw warned such punishments are “NOT just.”

“These punishments are NOT just. They are not reasonable,” Crenshaw tweeted. “Small-minded ‘leaders’ across the country have become drunk with power. This must end.”

In the video, Luther can be heard responding to a call from Dallas Judge Eric Moyé, who gave Luther the opportunity to avoid penalties, including jail time and fees, if she apologized for breaking the lockdown order.

“Judge Eric Moyé asked Luther if she would make a statement admitting she was wrong and selfish. Listen here…,” Dallas CBS11 reporter Andrea Lucia tweeted.

Moyé read off an option to Luther asking her to admit that she understood “you owe an apology to the elected officials whom you disrespected for flagrantly ignoring and in one case defiling their orders, which you now know obviously apply to you, that you understand the proper way in an ordered society.”

In reading off the list of offenses Luther should apologize for, Moyé indicated “this court will consider the payment of a fine in lieu of the incarceration which you’ve demonstrated that you have so clearly earned.”

Luther instead responded, “Judge, I would like to say that I have much respect for this court and law and that I’ve never been in this position before, and it’s not some place that I want to be, but I have to disagree with you sir, when you say that I’m selfish, because feeding my kids is not selfish.”

“I have hair stylists that are going hungry because they’d rather feed their kids,” Luther continued. “So, sir, if you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.”

Luther was sentenced to seven days jail time, CBS 11 Dallas reported. Luther was also fined a $500 penalty for each day her salon was open in defiance of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s stay at home orders — seven days in total for a fine of $3,500. Luther was further warned of additional $500 fines for each day she continues to keep her business open.

On Tuesday, Abbott announced cosmetology salons and other similar businesses could reopen by Friday, May 8.