- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti issued a stern warning to nonessential businesses that are remaining open despite mandated closures to combat the coronavirus pandemic: “We will shut you down.”

The mayor said Tuesday that he will step up enforcement actions against nonessential businesses such as salons, gyms and nightclubs that are defying orders to close. He said water and power would be cut off to businesses that fail to cooperate and that misdemeanor charges would be brought against repeat offenders.

“If we see continued noncompliance, they’ll wind up facing a misdemeanor charge and [the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power] will step in and shut off the water and power,” Mr. Garcetti said.

“Believe me when I say nobody wants to be punitive at a time like this. My ideal is 100% self-compliance,” he continued. “And we all hope for the same thing: We want fewer people to get sick and die. We want this crisis to end as soon as possible and we want to be able to take care of the people we love most dearly. We can achieve those goals but only if we all do our part.

“So, let me speak to directly to the nonessential businesses that are still operating against the law and still requiring people to come into work and still putting everybody at risk,” he said. “You know who you are. You need to stop it. This is your chance to step up and to shut it down, because if you don’t, we will shut you down.”

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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