Coronavirus

Forest man acquires information on more than 1,200 people who reported places for not following mask mandate

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BEDFORD COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A Forest man says more than 1,200 people have reported restaurants, churches, and other businesses across the Commonwealth for not following Gov. Ralph Northam’s mask mandate.

The man filed Freedom of Information Act request for that information. He’s calling it Snitch Leaks and it’s getting a lot of attention on social media.

“The short answer is I wanted to see how many people would rat out Anne Frank. And it’s essentially that,” said Isaiah Knight.

Knight got information for 1,293 people from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

“What you see on this list from the Department of Health is people’s businesses. You see a lot of people who are complaining about churches. And I just don’t think the government should be telling people whether or not they should be wearing a mask or not,” said Knight.

He says he doesn’t want to release everyone’s information, but Knight wants people to know it’s available.

“I hate that, that you have neighbors who are reporting neighbors. People who are reporting bodies of religion and churches. And I just I hate that and I think our Commonwealth is so much better than snitching on each other and creating a culture like that,” said Knight.

Diana Persinger says while she doesn’t agree with reporting places for not following the mandate, she does think it’s important to wear a mask in public.

“I don’t want to get the virus at 75, and I take care of another elderly gentleman with other diseases. I don’t want him to die,” Persinger said.

According to Persinger, people can choose whether or not to go inside public places.

“You have an option as a citizen,” said Persinger. “If you see that, leave. Don’t go in. Go some place else.”

Knight says he doesn’t want to post the names of people who reported places for not following the mandate, he posted a few businesses that had been reported. He claims there has been unfair coverage of places not complying — such as churches and restaurants — so he wanted to shine a light on the ones he thought weren’t being mentioned.

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