Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Michigan's Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer has apparently caved to demands by outraged citizens to lift restrictions and reopen the state so they can return to work.

Whitmer angered voters when she locked down the state and banned travel between residences. Family members were not allowed to visit each other, and police were ordered to arrest violators.

Whitmer said on Good Morning America on Friday that she hoped to reopen the state by May 1. That is the date that President Donald Trump ordered all governors to reopen their states to avoid collapsing the economy.

"I do hope to have some relaxing come May 1st, but it's two weeks away, and the information, the data and our ability to test is changing so rapidly. It's hard to tell you precisely where we'll be one week from now, let alone two weeks from now," she said.

Whitmer changed her stance and plans to relax her draconian rules after thousands of residents took to the streets in protest this week.

Additionally, four sheriffs said they would not enforce Whitmer's stay-at-home policy because she was "overstepping" her executive authority.

"Each of us took an oath to uphold and defend the Michigan Constitution, as well as the US Constitution, and to ensure that your God-given rights are not violated," the sheriffs said in a joint statement. "We believe that we are the last line of defense in protecting your civil liberties... As sheriffs of this community, we want you to know we have your back and will continue to serve the people who entrusted us with your protection."

Protesters in Virginia, North Carolina and Minnesota disrupted traffic and marched in the streets. President Trump showed support for the demonstrators on Twitter.com.

Minnesota's Democratic Governor Tim Walz also caved to protests in his state. Residents are allowed to go fishing, boating, hunting and hiking as long as they maintain a safe distance.

COVID-19 causes mild symptoms or no symptoms in most healthy adults. The virus causes acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and potentially fatal pneumonia among the elderly, particularly those with chronic illnesses such as respiratory and heart problems, HIV/AIDS, obesity, and smokers.

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Pro-Trump demonstrators took part in a protest for "Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine" at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan on Wednesday, April 15.

The protesters are upset with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer's draconian measures that include a stay-at-home order and no travel between residences to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

JEFF KOWALSKY/AFP via Getty Images

Hundreds protested on foot while many more protested in their cars in what they call "Operation Gridlock."

As of Saturday, residents are prohibited from visiting friends and family and they must stay in their homes 24-hours-a-day except to go grocery shopping or to visit their doctor.

Only essential items can be sold in grocery stores or big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes in Michigan. Many employees have been furloughed as a result of the loss in foot traffic.

Demonstrators referred to Whitmer as a "dictator," and they criticized her heavy handed restrictions across the state.

Activists say Whitmer is doing the most to impress presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden so he will pick her as his VP.

A petition to impeach Whitmer drew over 100,000 signatures online.

Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images

Despite the protests, Whitmer defended her aggressive stance.

"Not one of us wants to go through this again, not in a month, not in the fall," Whitmer told ABC News.

"I want you to have your freedom. I want to have mine, too. We will get to a place where we can be with our friends and family again. It's OK to be frustrated, it's OK to be angry. If it makes you feel better to direct it at me, that's OK, too. I've got thick skin ... I just ask that those who are protesting these orders, do so in a safe manner so that you don't get sick and you don't subject our first responders to risk either."

 

Mujey Dumbaya

A 16-year-old girl was found dead before she could testify against a school district employee who sexually assaulted her. Police found the fully clothed body of Mujey Dumbuya on January 28 in a wooded area in Kalamazoo, about 50 miles from her Grand Rapids home, the NY Daily News reports.

Read more »

Dr Fakhruddin Attar

A second Michigan doctor has been arrested for performing illegal genital mutilation surgery on young girls.

Federal prosecutors arrested Dr. Fakhruddin Attar, 53, and his wife Farida Attar, 50, on Friday and charged them with conspiracy to commit female genital mutilation surgery and aiding and abetting female genital mutilation (FGM).

Read more »

Demarlon Thomas

A prisoner who was recently pardoned by former President Obama was shot and killed execution-style at a Michigan halfway house.

Damarlon Thomas, a 31-year-old former gang member, was executed by gunmen who police say targeted him specifically at the halfway house on Monday night.

Read more »

Aretha Franklin and Tamron Hall

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is calling on the Motown family to help Flint, Michigan residents during the manmade water crisis.

Flint's water supply became contaminated with lead and other pollutants when the city switched its drinking water source from Detroit's water supply to the Flint River.

Read more »

The Game

Rap mogul The Game put his money where his mouth is and donated $500,000 out of his own pocket to provide bottles of water to the residents of Flint, Michigan during the man-made water crisis.

The Game, whose real name is Jayceon Terrell Taylor, 36, said he donated the money because his younger sister and her children live there.

Read more »

Aretha Franklin and Evrod Cassimy

The Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin is following closely on the heels of Patti LaBelle's sweet potato pies success.

In addition to donating food and overnight hotel stays for 25-50 people in Flint, Michigan, Franklin is launching her own line of food that will soon be available in grocery stores near you.

Read more »

Flint water crisis

President Obama signed an emergency order on Saturday, clearing the way for federal aid to fix the manmade water crisis in Flint, Michigan.

According to published reports, Flint's municipal water supply became contaminated after the city switched its water source from the Detroit water treatment system to the Flint River in 2014.

Read more »

Teleka Patrick missing

Police are working to identify the body of a woman that was pulled from a lake in northern Indiana, NBC affiliate Woodtv.com reports.

A fisherman spotted the body floating on Lake Charles around 7:10 a.m. Sunday. He called police and reported "something suspicious" floating in the water.

The Indiana State police SCUBA team and Porter Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and pulled the body out of the water. The body was described as that of a female dressed in dark clothing, according to a press release.

Read more »