by Ron Kerten
Bravely putting their lives on the line to protect the public from hair stylists serving customers, police in Stockton, CA, raided Pomp Salon just before Christmas and ordered the place to close, as it been operating in defiance of Governor Newsom’s shutdown orders.
“About five armed state police officers burst into our salon shouting drop everything you’re doing. Stop, you’re being shut down,” salon co-owner Vicki Kirk told ABC 10 news.
The police were following orders from the California Department of Consumer Affairs, which apparently has law enforcement powers, and issued three misdemeanor citations to the salon through its Investigate Division.
“They burst into our salon and they treated it like a drug raid,” Kirk told FOX40.
The officers from the enforcement division of the Department of Consumer Affairs tried to cool tempers as shouting and expletives occurred.
The Board of Barbering and Cosmetology issued a statement that said violations of the emergency order could involve the removal of licenses from barbershops and salons.
“The Board strongly encourages licensees, as well as the public, to comply with the applicable Regional Stay-at-Home orders to slow the spread of COVID-19,” the statement read, in part.
But the owners of Pomp said salons are not spreading the virus and cited contact tracing numbers showing infection more much more likely to spread in businesses that are allowed to remain open.
“If there were any evidence that we should close, we would close, absolutely. There is virtually zero evidence to support the closure of our industry,” Ballin claimed.
“I just want to earn a living and we all want to do it safely,” Kirk said. “We have strict safety protocols here, and we will continue to do so.”
The couple said they believed they were singled out because they are outspoken critics of how lockdown rules are applied, citing health protocol violations by the governor and other officials.
The salon is thankful for the outpouring of support:
Words cannot express our appreciation for the overwhelming support we have received. Thank you to the people that left this at our salon ❤️
The San Joaquin County District Attorneys office has announced that they were not involved in this raid and will not proceed with charges against the salon, as these were state actors and not county or city officers.
Stockton has one of the highest rates of crime in the nation, and the city of just over 300,000 recently logged its 53rd shooting for the year. Nice to see the police focusing on the real crimes of salons opening.