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Woman in Texas says ‘police brutality’ when arrested after repeatedly refusing to wear a mask at a bank

Bank of America. Kena Betancur / VIEWpress via Getty Images)

  • Bodycam video from Galveston, Texas shows police arrest a woman for refusing to wear a mask.

  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott earlier in March overturned the state’s masking order.

  • The woman refused to follow the police officer’s request and claimed that she had been the victim of “police brutality”.

  • Visit the Insider homepage for more stories.

Viral video recorded by a police officer’s body camera in Galveston, Texas showed a provocative woman being arrested after refusing to wear a face mask at a bank in need.

The woman has been charged with criminal trespassing and resisting arrest following the incident on Thursday afternoon at a Bank of America site on Central City Boulevard in Galveston, according to local media outlet KHOU.

The woman, identified in the report as Terry Lynn Wright, allegedly refused requests from bank staff to wear a mask, which led the manager to call the police. When police arrived, Wright refused the officer’s instructions to put on a mask or leave the store.

“The law says I don’t have to wear a mask,” Wright said in video captured by the officer’s body camera. Insider could not reach Wright for comment.

The video shows bank workers and customers wearing face masks as Wright refused.

The Galveston Police Department did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for information about the incident.

On March 2, Texas Governor Greg Abbott lifted a mask warrant that required masks to be worn in public. But by ordering the warrant removed, Abbott hasn’t stopped companies from requiring their customers and staff to continue wearing them.

As the US statesman from Austin reported following Abbott’s decision to quash the mandate, leading companies operating in Texas like the HEB grocery chain and large Target and Walmart surfaces, always required customers to wear face masks when visiting their stores.

The Bank of America website warns customers that they should be “prepared” to wear a mask before visiting any of their branches.

“We remain focused on supporting the health and safety needs of our employees, customers and communities,” a Bank of America spokesperson told Insider. “This involves ensuring that our practices and policies are aligned with the most up-to-date guidelines from healthcare professionals and public health experts.

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of the use of face masks and the practice of physical distancing in all public spaces,” she said. for follow-up. “In keeping with this continuing direction, we continue to require that all who enter our financial centers wear a face mask.”

In the video, the agent attempted to explain to Wright that the bank was still allowed to impose masks given that this was a business and not a public space.

“Ma’am, we’re going to do it the easiest or the hardest way,” he said.

“What are you going to do, stop me? It’s hilarious,” Wright replied.

When the officer first attempted to handcuff Wright, she walked away.

“This old lady is handcuffed here! Hope someone films this,” she said.

The officer said he was filming the incident.

When Wright refused to comply with the officer’s order to put his hands behind her back, he brought her to the ground and handcuffed her. Wright accused the officer of “police brutality”.

Wright complained that the officer had injured her foot, so he called an ambulance for her. She was treated at a local hospital for “minor injuries,” Galveston police told KHOU, and was released. An arrest warrant was issued on Friday, according to the report.

Public health experts have warned that easing COVID-19 measures, like mask warrants, is at this premature stage, even with accelerated vaccine roll-out and new daily cases drop from earlier peak this year.

Experts say continued precautions are needed due to variants of the virus considered to be more contagious, such as variant B.1.1.7 first discovered in the UK.

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