A New Jersey gym reopened in defiance of Governor Chris Murphy’s shutdown order, and patrons were waiting for the state to respond with a heavy hand.
Atilis Gym co-owner Ian Smith announced his intention to violate the order because he has to run his business to survive.
“We’ll see the reaction from law enforcement, we’ll see the reaction from Governor Murphy,” Smith said. “We’re here, being civilly disobedient, being peaceful, I’m running a business as I should be able to.”
Spoke to co-owner Ian Smith today after Atilis Gym in Bellmawr opened, defying state order. Gym still operating, one hour after opening doors. pic.twitter.com/ZoSdoimLpO
— Katherine Scott (@KScott6abc) May 18, 2020
Bellmawr police arrived shortly after, declaring the reopened gym violated Murphy’s shutdown order — then told the crowd to enjoy their day.
“We are and were ordered here today for everybody’s safety, we planned for the worst and hoped for the best, and it looks like that’s what he have out here today,” the officer said.
“Normally, you’re all in violation of the executive order,” he continued. “On that note, have a good day, everybody be safe.”
— Atilis Gym Bellmawr (@TheAtilisGym) May 18, 2020
The crowd immediately erupted into applause and cheers of “USA! USA! USA!”
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