No jail time for vigilante who pulled a gun trying to enforce Walz’s mask mandate

A Dayton-appointed judge did not give any jail time to a vigilante who pulled a gun while attempting to enforce Gov. Walz's mask mandate.

Left: Michael M. Florhaug/Ramsey County Jail; Right: Judge JaPaul Harris/Minnesota Judicial Branch

A Minnesota man who pulled a gun in a gym upon noticing that some patrons weren’t wearing masks will not go to jail.

Michael Florhaug, 64, visited a gym he was not a member of in Maplewood to enforce Gov. Tim Walz’s mask mandate on New Year’s Eve 2020. He then pulled a gun on the gym’s manager after noticing that not all gym-goers were wearing masks. The manager tackled the vigilante, who was put on probation and given a $136 fine on Monday, according to court documents.

Florhaug was also sentenced to one year of confinement at a state correctional facility, but that penalty was stayed by the presiding judge. Although he is now a felon, Florhaug will not lose his freedom, and will instead face three years of probation.

Judge JaPaul Harris presided over this case. He was appointed by former Gov. Mark Dayton in 2018. He graduated from St. Paul’s Hamline University School of Law in 2003.

Since becoming a judge, Harris has promoted the Black Lives Matter movement and called on other judges to reform the legal system apparently to align with the BLM vision of justice.

“This is your courtroom, your justice system. Reform it. Change it,” he wrote in an article published by the Hennepin County Bar Association. He also believes that the “one lesson of history that we can all agree” on is that “racial bias is omnipresent” in the Minnesota court system, according to an op-ed he penned.

Harris’s apparent Twitter account prominently features the controversial civil rights leader Malcolm X, who famously took an approach that endorsed violence in contrast to Martin Luther King’s message of peace.