A gym in southern New Jersey reopened its doors on Monday in defiance of a statewide order to shut down non-essential businesses, prompting police to approach the building only to then leave as they told the crowd to “have a nice day.” Dozens of people, many of whom held signs and waved American flags, appeared outside the Atilis Gym in Camden County before it opened to show support for the gym’s reopening. Most people were standing closely together and were not wearing face masks. “If they shut us down today, we’ll reopen tomorrow,” said co-owner Ian Smith, who contends that keeping the gym closed is unconstitutional. “We truly believe that if we don’t do this, in the end, we will have zero rights and no say in what happens,” the other co-owner Frank Trumbetti said in a video on the gym’s Facebook page.
Police arrived at the scene shortly after the gym opened its doors, telling the crowd and the gym owners that they were “formally” violating Gov. Phil Murphy’s executive order.” One officer told the crowd that the police were there “for everybody’s safety,” then added, “on that note, have a good day. Everyone be safe.” An attorney for the gym told Fox 29 that Camden County police issued the owners a citation for disorderly conduct, and the patrons inside the gym were given warnings.