The Trump administration sent a warning letter Friday to Mayor Eric Garcetti, saying the Department of Justice is concerned the city may pursue “an arbitrary and heavy-handed approach” to stay-at-home orders.
Eric S. Dreiband, assistant attorney general for the department’s civil rights division, pointed to what he said were public statements by Garcetti and Barbara Ferrer, Los Angeles County’s director of public health.
“Reports of your recent public statements indicate that you suggested the possibility of long-term lockdown of the residents in the city and county of Los Angeles, regardless of the legal justification for such restrictions.” Dreiband wrote. “Any such approach may be both arbitrary and unlawful.”
Garcetti spokesman Alex Comisar said the mayor’s team has received the letter and is reviewing it.
Garcetti issued a stay-at-home order for Los Angeles in March, extending it twice. But he has signaled that restrictions would be loosened in the coming weeks.
Over the past month, beaches, golf courses, tennis courts and hiking trails have reopened and retail stores now allow curbside pickup.