The Dallas Police have announced through the media they’re going to be stopping people to enforce the shelter-in-place laws. If the police stop you merely to inquire if you are engaged in an “essential activity” and nothing more they are doing so unlawfully!
Absent their observation of you’re having committed some other violation they need “reasonable suspicion” you are engaged in some criminal activity to stop you and restrict your freedom of movement.
Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard of proof in United States law that is less than probable cause, the legal standard for arrests and warrants, but more than an “inchoate and unparticularized suspicion or ‘hunch'”; it must be based on “specific and articulable facts”, “taken together with rational inferences from those facts”, and the suspicion must be associated with the specific individual.
This, for them, of course would be a no-brainer if the shelter-in-place laws applied to ALL persons at ALL times under ALL circumstances and they saw you out and about. But they don’t.
Residents are allowed to leave to buy groceries, get medical supplies, exercise and do other activities that are necessary for health.
Businesses that provide essential services, such as food, medical needs and maintenance services, will remain open and thus their employees are free to travel to and from work. Likewise, these laws have not been implemented state/nationwide and citizens have the constitutional right to travel which can certainly entail passing through jurisdictions that have implemented them.
The ONLY way they can establish whether you are in violation is to first ILLEGALLY stop you and then VIOLATE your 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination by making inquiry as to your reason for being out and about. This is America, last I checked.
Again, if you were speeding, ran a stop sign, appear intoxicated or in distress, etc. they can, as always, initiate an encounter. But even then your are not obligated (and should never anyway) provide them ANY information as to your activities that day. The burden is upon them in court to prove you were doing something wrong and not upon you to prove that you are weren’t. Just take the ticket without saying ANYTHING if you might be in violation and we’ll let them try to present the evidence they don’t have later down at the courthouse.
Of course I encourage everyone to follow the law. And the purpose of this post is not to encourage you to break it. My concern is this is just one more governmental attempt to VIOLATE their oath to support and defend the constitution. Bit by bit they are eroding our rights, most often by tricking us into surrender them.
Remember, a piranha is every bit as deadly as a shark!