With the shutdown of the federal government comes the closure of Manassas Battlefield National Park. You’d expect from this that the doors would be locked at the visitor’s center, that gates might be closed, and that there wouldn’t be any park service employees at the park. On that last point though, you’d be wrong. They on the job, busily making up laws to cite while putting tickets on the cars of anyone they think may be on the grounds and citing laws that don’t exist as justification.
This “warning notice” was placed on the car of a local resident who parked on the road, and did in fact go for a hike on the trails inside the park. Here’s the caption they provided about this photo on a facebook post I saw this afternoon:
Went hiking at the Battlefields this morning but they were all blocked off because of the government shutdown so we parked on the side of the road. Came back to this on our car so I guess someone is still working.
What is particularly interesting about this ticket is the notation describing the law or regulation that was apparently violated. This is a spot where a law enforcement officer, or in this case a park ranger, would cite a specific law or regulation. “Closure violation” is not codified in federal law, nor is there a park service regulation entitled “closure violation.” This is entirely made up. Not only are there federal employees apparently not subject to the shutdown that could be allowing visitors to enjoy this monument to American lives lost in the bloodiest chapter in American history, but they’re busy making up laws to harass the public with instead of actually serving the public.
Federal employees making materially false representations or statements could quite reasonably be considered in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001, which is a felony violation punishable by up to five years in prison. Making up laws and “warning” the public that they are in violation of these laws or regulations that don’t exist, which most certainly is an intentional and willful act is unlawful behavior. This administration is so dedicated to finding new and creative ways to intentionally deliver pain on the American people in hopes that causes some kind of political advantage for them that they’re demanding that federal employees commit felonies to make it happen. That is, by the way, is unlawful as well.
But for this administration, the law is what everyone else is subject to.
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