‘We can monitor activity…to make sure they’re not further affecting the community…’
(Claire Russel, Liberty Headlines) A Kentucky judge has ordered all Louisville residents who have been exposed to the Wuhan virus to wear ankle monitors, even if they have not tested positive.
Jefferson Circuit Court Judge Angela Bisig issued the ruling in response to one Louisville resident’s refusal to self-quarantine, according to CNN.
The resident, identified as D.L. in the court order, is living with “someone who has tested positive for the illness and another person who is a presumptive case,” according to Dr. Sarah Moyer, director of the state’s health department.
Because D.L. continued to move about in the community, Bisig ordered the Department of Corrections to assign D.L. a global positioning device for the next two weeks. If D.L. leaves isolation, he or she could be criminally charged, according to the order.
It is unclear whether D.L. has tested positive for COVID-19.
There are at least three other Louisville residents who have been similarly fitted with ankle monitors, according to Fox News.
Two of these residents live in the same home, and one tested positive for COVID-19 while the other person tested negative. And another man was put under house arrest for going to the store after testing positive for the coronavirus.
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration justified these orders as a public safety necessity.
“The home incarceration program is well-suited for this,” said Amy Hess, the city’s chief of public services, in a Facebook live stream. “It provides us with the proper amount of distancing. We can monitor activity after [the monitoring device] gets affixed to them … to make sure they’re not further affecting the community. We would prefer not to have to do it at all.”
Jefferson County’s courts now have an on-call judge for these types of cases, according to WDRB, which means more residents could be forced to wear ankle monitors over the next few weeks.
Meanwhile, the state of Kentucky plans to release close to 200 prisoners over the next few weeks, according to Michael Brown, the secretary of the Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet.
Tracy Dotson, spokesman for a Louisville police union, questioned the ethics of tracking Louisville residents with ankle monitors — especially since they have not been charged with a crime.
“Our mandate is once people are charged with a crime, we’re to do whatever it is we do with them,” he told the Louisville Courier-Journal. “These people aren’t charged with a crime. For my people on the ground, that’s a concern for them.”