A group of New York business owners on Friday could be seen having a tense confrontation with sheriff’s deputies and a county health inspector over Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s coronavirus restrictions, in a viral video that made the rounds online over the weekend.
The video, shared on a blog post by Tim Walton, shows Erie County sheriff’s deputies and a county health official visiting Athletes Unleashed, a private gym in Orchard Park, where more than 100 Buffalo-area business owners were gathered.
GRAPHIC LANGUAGE WARNING:
The business owners were reportedly there to brainstorm ways to survive Cuomo’s recently implemented “orange zone” restrictions, in which schools go remote and “high-risk” businesses such as gyms are closed.
The sheriff’s deputies and the county health inspector showed up at the meeting about 20 minutes after it had begun, telling the attendees that they were in violation of Cuomo’s restrictions, which prohibit 10 or more people.
A heated confrontation ensued, with the attendees telling the officials that they are on “private property” and need to leave the premises.
“Some of these people actually work for their money and they don’t want to lose their livelihood,” one man can be heard saying. “I’ve seen clients die because they’ve lost their livelihood.
Either side can be heard talking over one other, with people on the business side repeatedly telling officials that they are on private property and must have a warrant.
Others among the group continually shout, “Get out!” while recording on their cell phones as the three officials eventually decide to leave. The group follows them all the way to the parking lot. As the officials head for their vehicles a man can be heard shouting: “Take your commie s— elsewhere!”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.