The day after Gov. Greg Abbott rolled back some of the state’s Covid-19 restrictions, including the state’s mask mandate on Thursday, came a case of woman’s arrest for refusing to wear a mask in a Texas bank. It should be noted that private business, anyhow, have the right of mandating masks at their discretion.
The police body camera footage obtained by CNN shows a woman being arrested at a Galveston, Texas, bank when she refused to wear a mask or leave. The footage displays a police officer entering the Bank of America branch in Galveston and informing the woman that the bank can decline service to her if she doesn’t put on a mask. It can be heard in the video that she refuses to, and then the officer says she will be arrested for “intruding on the premises” if she doesn’t cooperate or leave the bank. Ultimately, the officer handcuffs her and removes her from the bank.
The woman named Terry White, 65 said that she entered the bank without a mask and was questioned by an employee if she had one. White answered, “No thank you, I don’t need one,” and she was presented a mask by the employee. But when White refused the mask, she was asked to leave.
“I said no, I just want to close my account and then I’ll leave,” she is heard saying in the video. “(The employee) goes, ‘Well, if you’re not going to leave, then I’m going to call the cops.’ I said, ‘Well, do what you have to do.’”
Galveston Mayor Craig Brown mentions that the woman was arrested on trespassing charges — “not on not wearing a mask.”
Police has confirmed that White was charged with criminal trespass and resisting arrest. The body camera footage reveals a Galveston police officer entering the bank and telling the woman on Thursday, “Ma’am, if they ask you to leave, you have to leave.”
The woman in response tells the officer she’s trying to take her money out. The officer tries to tell her that she still has to “abide by the rules.”
“Business have the right to refuse service, even if you’re not wearing a mask. That’s their choice,” the officer mentions.
“What are you going to do,” she questions, “arrest me?”
“Yes, for intruding on the premises,” the officer says. He asks the woman to step outside.
The woman asserts she’s in a public place (“This is a private business,” the officer replies) and alleges the officer of “taking away people’s human rights.”
After a brief struggle in which the woman appears to repel initially when the officer starts to handcuff her, she’s seen on the floor of the bank, saying to other people inside the bank, all of whom appear to be putting masks, “Police brutality, people.”
“No,” they answer. “No, it’s not.”
The officer removes her from the bank. She says she feels the officer broke her foot, and the officer calls for emergency medical services. Towards the end of the footage, he places her in the back of a patrol car.