DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick's Facebook message about Gov. Pritzker and COVID-19

Daily Herald report
Updated 5/18/2020 4:03 PM

DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick posted the following message Sunday night on his personal Facebook page:

As sheriff, I feel that my own First Amendment constitutional right to free speech has been completely trampled on by a governor who has threatened my office's reimbursement and grant funds as a tool to force me not to speak. I just can't do this any more.


I stand with our citizens and businesses of DuPage County who have offered no trouble or no resistance to any rule we put upon them, no matter how strange. In fact they have communally helped to support us during this pandemic with resources and physical help.

I will not have a polarized and threatened society when we are currently experiencing nothing but great treatment from our citizens and businesses. We are not experiencing the same problems as Cook County. We can reopen responsibly and with proper care.

We're not just going to open up with no precautions, but science suggests a potentially different route. We did all say from the beginning that we would follow science to the end correct?

We have now created "super hot spots" for COVID-19 within our most coveted resources. Our primary food sources (Costco, Jewel, etc.).

As our local restaurants continue to dissolve into oblivion, the reliance on food will cause more people to flock to the few that are open, causing very high potential virus transfer, food shortages and a potential collapse of our economy. If other businesses were opened responsibly, wouldn't that take away from congregation at the only few places left open? This is what purely scientific minds have asked me.

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I'm just having difficulty with what looks like politics pitting everyone against each other and then wanting the police to arrest everyone who disagrees. We are not storm troopers. We are peacekeepers.

All these years, you have told us that you want law enforcement that thinks before arresting, doesn't violate your rights and treats their citizens with decency. Now you have that and are asking us to regress into what you didn't want and didn't deserve. Please let us be the law enforcement you always asked us to be. Non-oppressive.

We are dealing with a serious rise in crime, new challenges in our correctional facility and a massive upsurge in our courthouse when everything opens back up. We will rise to the challenge. This is not the time to introduce fear into our society by threatening class A misdemeanors, but instead it's a time to assist our citizens and businesses to get back on their feet.

I feel DuPage County is ready to reopen responsibly before everything is gone and I will not victimize lawful residents of DuPage County trying to put food on their children's table. I'm so proud of our DuPage citizens who have done everything right from the beginning. All I can say is thank you.

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