Video captures Roswell city councilor taking down fencing on basketball court

New Mexico News

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – A Roswell city councilor was caught on camera removing a temporary fence from a basketball court. He’s claiming he did it for the wellbeing of local children, even though it goes against the public health order.

KRQE News 13 spoke with City Councilor Jacob Roebuck who admitted he removed some of the fencing, but is adamant he didn’t damage any city property. KRQE received a cell phone video sent by a viewer on November 20 at Cahoon Park.

The city put up the fencing to block off the entrance to the court, to help avoid crowds during the pandemic. The current public health order said all outdoor rec facilities must close.

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham also urged people this past week to only leave home for essential trips. She emphasized the dangers of getting together with people you don’t live with as Thanksgiving approaches and COVID-19 cases climb.

However, Roebuck took it into his own hands to remove the temporary fence even saying the health order has been a detriment to the community. He also claims there was a court at another park nearby that was not fenced off with a lot of people playing on it. 

“Kids come first, we have to take care of our kids. We don’t want kids over the Thanksgiving break, we don’t want them locked in a house playing video games, they need to be out, they need to be exercising,” said Roebuck. “They need to be doing things that interest them that aren’t behind a computer screen.”  

Back in July, Roswell city councilors voted not to enforce the state’s public health order. They decided Roswell Police would not be citing anyone and would leave enforcement up to State Police.

Roebuck told KRQE News 13 he told the city manager he planned to remove this fence. KRQE reached out to the city manager but did not hear back. KRQE also asked the governor’s office for a response, but they did not get back to KRQE.

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