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Bedford County group wants cops, others ‘detained’ for enforcing COVID-19 restrictions

“Nullify Northam” is their battle cry and they want a “First Amendment sanctuary with teeth”

BEDFORD, Va. – Another large crowd of people packed into the Bedford County Board of Supervisors meeting Monday night as they continued to ask county leaders to push back against Governor Northam’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.

And, going one step farther than a resolution recently passed in Campbell County, they want cops and other state agents detained for enforcing the rules.

About a half dozen people spoke at the podium and about 50 people in total filled the room at Monday’s meeting. Isiah Knight is a standout in the group and said he doesn’t support pandemic restrictions, nor those enforcing them.

“We do ask for people to detain state agents who are trying to enforce Northam’s unconstitutional laws because you don’t want that’s something that’s just going to be words,” Knight said.

Knight and others said they want to ‘Nullify Northam’ with a First Amendment sanctuary resolution. They said their right to assemble is being infringed upon by the Governor’s gathering limit.

Tommy Scott is on the Board of Supervisors and said Knight’s resolution, with the ability to detain law enforcement officers and state agents, doesn’t fly.

He said the board isn’t opposed, however, to other options.

“The board is going to come forward with its own resolution if they choose to do that, there are some things we think need to be changed and looked at and discussed with the sheriff and the commonwealth attorney,” Scott said.

The health department cited the board following its last meeting when more than one hundred people filled the room with few masks to challenge the restrictions.

Monday night’s crowd was another oversized one, with the current limit for public gatherings at 10 people. Posted signs noted the mask mandate and other rules, but few in the crowd followed.

“This is a government public meeting and to tell citizens that they don’t have a right to come, or how many can come, we don’t feel like that’s our responsibility,” Scott said.

Knight wants the county to pass their version of the resolution, following Campbell County’s lead, but with the ability to detain. Despite condemnation from local and state officials, he’s not backing down.

“We want to make sure that they know that we’re here and that we strongly believe in this and that we’re not going to stop coming until we have our rights preserved,” Knight said.

Bedford County Sheriff Mike Miller told 10 News that the proposal for his deputies to detain other law enforcement partners, or for his deputies to be detained by others, needs to go back to the drawing board.