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North Carolina tattoo studio owner arrested for reopening despite restrictions

North Carolina tattoo studio owner arrested for reopening despite restrictions
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A North Carolina tattoo studio owner was arrested Wednesday after opening his business despite statewide restrictions shuttering nonessential businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Matthew “Jax” Myers was arrested after opening his tattoo parlor, the Apex Tattoo Factory, in Apex, N.C., according to a post on the parlor’s Facebook page

Meyers told The News and Observer that he knew defying the order would get him charged, but said he was losing money under state’s restrictions and feared losing his house and being unable to feed his three children in a few months. 

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He told the newspaper that neither he nor any other small business owners he knows received small business loans for federal Paycheck Protection Program money. 

He said he hopes his actions will “inspire other people to do the same.” 

“You can arrest one person, but you can’t arrest all these people,” he told the News and Observer. 

Myers’ business, Apex Tattoo Factory, has been posting on Facebook for weeks criticizing the state’s stay-at-home order put in place to mitigate the spread of the potentially deadly coronavirus. 

In one post from last week, Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) stay-at-home order is compared to residents “being herded into volunteering for slavery.” 

Myers has also been joining the ReOpen NC protests in downtown Raleigh, according to the News and Observer. 

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Four people, including the co-founder of ReOpen NC Ashley Smith, were arrested earlier this week during a protest in Raleigh. 

Smith, who has since been released, vowed to continue leading demonstrations calling for the state to lift the restrictions aimed at mitigating the spread of the coronavirus. 

North Carolina’s health department reported on Wednesday a statewide total of 9,949 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 354 deaths.