Group of Michigan sheriffs fighting governor's strict social distancing orders: 'Overstepping' her authority

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Michigan Sheriff Ted Schendel said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s social distancing restrictions have gone too far and his community is "hurting."

“I’m a compassionate constitutional sheriff, I care about my community and right now my community is hurting. They’re scared and they’re afraid,” the Benzie County sheriff told “Fox & Friends” on Friday.

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“We all got together to stand up and say, we all got your back. We’re here for you,”  Schendel said.

Schendel is one of four sheriffs from Michigan who vowed to not strictly enforce Whitmer’s social distancing restrictions that critics say have gone too far.

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“While we understand her desire to protect the public, we question some restrictions that she has imposed as overstepping her executive authority,” Sheriff Schendel, Leelanau County Sheriff Mike Borkovich, l, Manistee County Sheriff Ken Falk and Mason County Sheriff Kim Cole said in a press release.

The sheriffs said that, instead of stringent enforcement, they “will deal with every case as an individual situation and apply common sense.”

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The sheriffs noted that their focus should be on reopening their counties and getting people back to work, but added that CDC guidelines such as social distancing, washing hands and wearing masks should be followed.

Whitmer enacted a stay-at-home order March 24. It was originally set to expire April 13 before being extended to April 30.

Over the weekend, Whitmer announced an expansion of her order, which among other things prohibits residents from visiting family or friends with the exception of providing care, bans public or private gatherings of any size or family ties, and places restrictions on what essential businesses which remain open may sell. Her decision to prevent residents from buying certain items or traveling to some places triggered protests earlier this week.

Fox News' Morgan Phillips contributed to this report.