Owosso barber Karl Manke was handed fines amounting to $9,000 after defying Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lockdown orders in spring 2020.
Manke garnered national headlines when he refused to close his barbershop during a barrage of executive orders issued by the governor that forced the closing of businesses Whitmer deemed nonessential throughout the state. On May 18, 2020, two days prior to the Operation Haircut protests, Manke’s barber license was suspended by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
A defiant Owosso barber must shutter his business for the remainder of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus lockdown.
The Michigan Court of Appeals determined by a 2-1 vote Thursday that Owosso septuagenarian Karl Manke’s business presented an “imminent danger” to public health during the coronavirus pandemic, deciding with the plaintiff, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The ongoing saga of Owosso barber Karl Manke’s battle against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order to shutter businesses during the coronavirus pandemic turned another page on Thursday.
Shiawassee County Circuit Judge Matthew J. Stewart determined state attorneys failed to convince him Manke’s refusal to comply with the governor’s order posed an imminent threat to the public. As a result, Manke’s shop on Owosso’s Main Street will remain open and the 77-year-old barber will be cutting hair for the foreseeable future.
Throngs of people waited for as long as three hours in an Owosso downpour to see Karl Manke, a local 77-year-old barber, speak on Monday afternoon.
Manke has gained celebrity status and a certain amount of notoriety for his refusal to adhere to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s shutdown of what are deemed non-essential businesses. Manke’s barbershop falls under that rubric as defined by the governor’s executive orders.
Karl Manke told a throng of supporters he holds no animus against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
However, he’s determined to continue cutting hair at his Owosso barbershop despite her executive order to keep businesses like his closed for an indeterminate time.