Entrepreneur Arrested for Violating COVID Lockdown Hits Back at Government

By Reed Cooley

Shelley Luther opened her Dallas-based salon last spring, violating coronavirus lockdowns put in place by the local government. For daring to operate her own business, Luther was arrested and jailed. During an in-depth interview on YOU BUILT THAT, a new podcast powered by Young Americans for Liberty (YAL), the business owner spoke out against the COVID-19 lockdowns that resulted in her arrest, and the political leaders who put the measures in place. Despite it all, she said she would do it over again today in order to feed her family.

“If you know something in your heart is the right thing to do, and someone has left you no other choice, you have to do what you have to do,” Luther told YAL. “I would have rather gone to jail than to not be able to feed my family. Those are both horrible choices, but I’ll do anything to feed my kids — I’ll go to jail for a year, two years, whatever it is. My responsibility as a parent is to feed my kids, not to do whatever the government says when I know I’m not doing anything to hurt anyone.”

Luther described what it was like in jail, away from her kids and family before her attorney was able to get her out. She wasn’t even allowed to make a phone call during her first night behind bars. Still, she said, “I was never scared to go to jail because I was doing what I knew was right.”

Now, Luther is dedicated to helping others suffering from “anti-American” lockdowns put in place by local governments. She now uses a portion of the funds that were donated to her following her arrest to help struggling business owners and workers. “We’ll go have a drink at a bar that’s not supposed to be open, and if there’s a poor waitress in there who’s trying to feed her kids, we’ll leave her a $1,000 tip.”

Cities around the nation run by Democrats have continued implementing business-killing lockdowns, even though coronavirus deaths and hospitalizations are significantly down since the spring. Stunning new data released by the CDC shows that the virus has a much higher survival rate than originally thought. The survival rate is 99.997% for people under age 20, 99.98% for people aged 20-49, 99.5% for people aged 50-69, and 94.6% for people over the age of 70.

Still, leaders around the nation such as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not allow restaurants, gyms, or other establishments to fully reopen. Such lockdown measures have destroyed a devastatingly huge number of small businesses and livelihoods.

Luther joins other high-profile business leaders on YOU BUILT THAT, a podcast created to help young people better understand the business world and what it takes to achieve the American Dream. YAL launched its season premiere last month with My Pillow, Inc. CEO Mike Lindell, who described his journey from a drug addict living in his basement to the owner of a multi-million dollar company.

“This show marks the beginning of a truly remarkable chapter here at YAL,” said YAL President Cliff Maloney. “Every day, our amazing team is finding bold, new ways of messaging the ideas of liberty and inspiring young people to take action. I could not be more excited to see YOU BUILT THAT off to a powerful start!”

New episodes air every Wednesday and can be found on YouTube, iTunes, and Spotify.


Reed Cooley serves as director of public relations at Young Americans for Liberty.

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