Cops in New Jersey issued a warning to a local gym intent on reopening but did not enforce the governor’s shutdown order Monday.
Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, Camden County announced that it would reopen Monday despite a state order that has shut down all nonessential businesses amid the novel coronavirus. The owners said that residents feel their rights are being “trampled” and that the gym has “a plan to keep people safe,” Fox News reported.
Police were on scene Monday as a crowd gathered ahead of Atilis Gym’s reopening. A local officer told the owner they were in violation of Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s shutdown order, but he did not enforce it. Instead, the officer told residents to “be safe” and “have a great day.”
“We are and only were here for everybody’s safety today,” a cop can be seen saying in a video posted to Twitter and according to Fox29 Philadelphia. “We planned for the worst and hoped for the best, and it seems like that’s what we have out here today.”
“Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order. On that note, have a good day, everybody be safe.”
Atilis Gym in Bellmawr, NJ opened up and the cops showed up.
Please watch and share this. This is how these unconstitutional orders should be handled by police officers.
This made me proud of my lifting community and of AMERICA!
— Marc Lobliner (@MarcLobliner) May 18, 2020
Update:Just now a local Bellmawr Police Lieutenant walked up to front door& owner of Atilis Gym&said “You’re all in violation of Governor’s executive order. That being said stay safe&have a nice day.” And walked away&crowd of supporters let out a loud cheer @FOX29philly pic.twitter.com/M3XvbHfvV0
— Steve Keeley (@KeeleyFox29) May 18, 2020
“Entire exchange was respectful,” Fox & Friends weekend co-host Pete Hegseth tweeted. “The officer notified the gym they were ‘violating the Governor’s order.’ Then said, ‘have a nice day’ and walked away. The crowd roared.”
The gym’s co-owner Frank Trumbetti said in a Facebook video that he believes if the gym remains closed per the shutdown order, “we will have zero rights and no say in what happens.” (RELATED: ‘He Will Be Cited Every Day’: California Gym Owner Opens Up Shop Just Days After Being Arrested For Opening)
Ian Smith, another co-owner of Atilis Gym, said even if the police did try to shut down his business, they would “not stand down.”
“Governor Murphy has presented zero plans and I think my business partner and I have a plan to keep people safe,” Smith, who was previously on “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” said according to Fox News.
“We’ve gone above and beyond and we have listed all of the steps and it’s so far beyond what the other stores are doing that, at this point, if the governor chooses to shut us down, it is absurd.”
After opening, the gym released a letter to Murphy and others from their lawyers stating that the business has “a fundamental property interest in conducting business activities that are protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.”