A Texas woman learned the hard way that just because her state no longer has a mask mandate, that doesn’t mean no one ever has to wear a mask again.
Although Republican Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded the state’s mask mandates in a March 2 executive order, private businesses still retain the right to require customers and employees to wear masks, as well as to refuse service to any customer, according to Fox News.
And that left Terry White, 65, on the wrong side of the law when she went inside to withdraw cash from a Bank of America location in Galveston, Texas, on Thursday without a mask on.
“Ma’am, if they ask you to leave, you have to leave,” White was told by a responding officer called to the scene, whose interaction with White was captured on his bodycam footage.
“My money is in this bank, and I’m going to take it out,” she said.
“Well, then you have to abide by their rules,” the officer responded. “Businesses have the right to refuse service, even if you’re not wearing a mask. You need to go and get a mask and then take your money out.”
After several seconds of pushback from White, who remained unmovable, the officer said, “We’re gonna do this the easy way or the hard way.”
“What are you gonna do, arrest me?” she asked incredulously.
“Yes, for intruding on-premises,” the officer said.
“This is a public place,” White said. “This is not a public place — this is a private business,” the officer responded.
After asking the woman to follow him outside to no avail, the officer pulled out his handcuffs.
Attempting to run away from the police officer, White tried to get sympathy or assistance from other customers. “Back up! Back up! Some old lady is getting handcuffed here!” she yelled.
As the officer told her to put her hands behind her back, White appealed for help.
“Is anybody gonna get real here? No one’s gonna get real? Wow,” she said. “Police brutality right here, people.”
“No … no it’s not,” numerous other customers inside the bank were heard saying. White then dismissed them as “a bunch of sheep.”
The episode drew several comments on Twitter — some applauding the officer’s actions in upholding the bank’s right to refuse service, and some stating their objections to the bank’s response.
To be clear, that bank is a private entity and can demand people wear a mask so it was fine arresting her. Also, it’s a weird world where you’re arrested for NOT wearing a mask in a bank. https://t.co/9S950r7dMg
— Jason Vaughn (@JasonVaughn) March 13, 2021
I would sue the Police Department if I was her. Woman reveals what happened to her at the bank when she refused to wear the mask https://t.co/f6F4gijcWW
— Stacie (@__Stacie__) March 13, 2021
This is what they do in countries ruled by Dictators. We should not have this in USA. In Bank of America.
— Biden is not my president??? (@monitteh) March 13, 2021
Fox News reported that White now faces charges of criminal trespass and resisting arrest, though she cannot be charged for refusal to wear a mask under new Texas law.
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