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Moment cop forces woman to the ground after she refused to wear a mask inside a Texas bank

Body camera footage showing a cop forcing a woman to the ground and handcuffing her after she refused to wear a mask inside a Texas bank has been released, a day after the lone star state lifted its face covering mandate. 

Police have issued an arrest warrant for Terry Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Oregon after she was taken to hospital following the incident, but not detained as she left.

The incident on Thursday at a Bank of America in Galveston was captured by the officer’s body camera, The Galveston County Daily News reported, which shows Wright being pinned to the floor and handcuffed when she refused to leave.

Police say they’ve obtained an arrest warrant on resisting arrest and criminal trespassing charges.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday ended statewide orders requiring people to wear face masks in public places, declaring that businesses should decide for themselves what COVID-19 precautions to take on their properties. 

However, many businesses have kept their own mask rules in place.

This frame grab from police body cam video provided by the Galveston Police Department, in Galveston, Texas, shows Terry Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Oregon, arguing with an officer inside a Bank of America branch after being told she needed to leave the bank because she was not wearing a face mask, amid the coronavirus pandemic

Police said a bank manager called police after Wright refused to wear a mask while inside, and then refused to leave the building when asked.

The police department on Friday released the officer’s body camera video footage. 

In the video, Wright can be seen standing in the middle of the bank´s lobby, surrounded by other customers, all of whom were wearing masks.

Wright told the officer she had come to the bank to make a withdrawal. The officer asked her to go outside or put on a mask. She refused.

‘What are you going to do, arrest me?’ she asked.

He replied: ‘Yes, for intruding on premises.’ And then she said: ‘That´s hilarious.’

Wright then told the officer the law said she didn’t have to wear a mask. As the officer took out handcuffs, she pulled away and began to walk toward the door. 

The officer stopped her and forced her to the ground. After she was handcuffed, she complained that her foot was injured.

‘Police brutality right here people,’ she said to the other customers at the bank. Replies of ‘no’ and ‘no, it’s not’ could be heard. 

Police said Wright suffered minor injuries during the struggle and was taken to a hospital for treatment. 

The incident on Thursday at a Bank of America in Galveston was captured by the officer's body camera, The Galveston County Daily News reported, which Wright her pinned to the floor and handcuffed when she refused to leave. Pictured: A grab from the officer's body camera

The incident on Thursday at a Bank of America in Galveston was captured by the officer’s body camera, The Galveston County Daily News reported, which Wright her pinned to the floor and handcuffed when she refused to leave. Pictured: A grab from the officer’s body camera

Pictured: The officer pins Wright to the floor after she refused to leave the premises of the Bank of America, asking 'What are you going to do, arrest me?'

Pictured: The officer pins Wright to the floor after she refused to leave the premises of the Bank of America, asking ‘What are you going to do, arrest me?’

However, she was allowed to leave the hospital on Thursday without being detained further, after which she reportedly called the police asking about the next steps.

On calling the police on that evening, Wright said she asked ‘what my next step is,’ to which a police sergeant whose name should could not remember told her, ‘non of my officers arrested you that day.’

Galveston police spokeswoman Stacy Papillion said Saturday said they did not know how she left the hospital, or confirm her account of the phone call, but said that Wright would be taken into custody.

Papillion said Wright was set to be arrested but was immediately taken to hospital upon a complaint of foot pain. ‘She will be arrested on the warrant,’ Papillion said.

The bank where Wright was arrested did not comment on the incident, aside from providing the Washington Post its marks policy.

'Police brutality right here people,' she said to the other customers at the bank. Replies of 'no' and 'no, it's not' could be heard

‘Police brutality right here people,’ she said to the other customers at the bank. Replies of ‘no’ and ‘no, it’s not’ could be heard

Wright, pictured sitting on the ground in handcuffs, told the Washington Post she was 'attacked' and compared mask requirements to the way that Nazi Germany forced Jewish people to identify themselves with a Star of David

Wright, pictured sitting on the ground in handcuffs, told the Washington Post she was ‘attacked’ and compared mask requirements to the way that Nazi Germany forced Jewish people to identify themselves with a Star of David

Spokeswoman Carla Molina said: ‘The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of using face coverings and practicing physical distancing in all public spaces.’

Molina also explained that customers who do not feel comfortable wearing a mask can make use of the bank’s drive-through windows and ATMs. 

Officials in Texas have emphasized that despite the lifting of the state-wide mask mandate, businesses can still require masks on their own premises, and therefore individuals can still face arrest for trespass if they flout such rules. 

Wright told The Washington Post that she has never covered her face inside stores, even when the statewide mandate was in place. She said she was in an RV park across the bay from Galveston in Hitchcock, Texas.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (pictured) on Wednesday ended statewide orders requiring people to wear face masks in public places, declaring that businesses should decide for themselves what COVID-19 precautions to take on their properties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (pictured) on Wednesday ended statewide orders requiring people to wear face masks in public places, declaring that businesses should decide for themselves what COVID-19 precautions to take on their properties

Officials in Texas have emphasized that despite the lifting of the state-wide mask mandate, businesses can still require masks on their own premises, and therefore individuals can still face arrest for trespass if they flout such rules. Pictured: Patrons in a bar on March 4

Officials in Texas have emphasized that despite the lifting of the state-wide mask mandate, businesses can still require masks on their own premises, and therefore individuals can still face arrest for trespass if they flout such rules. Pictured: Patrons in a bar on March 4

She told the newspaper she was ‘attacked’ and compared mask requirements to the way that Nazi Germany forced Jewish people to identify themselves with a Star of David. 

She also said she believed in a ‘plandemic’ in a reference to a documentary-style video in which an anti-vaccine activist promotes a string of questionable, false and potentially dangerous coronavirus theories. 

Masks are still required in some situation. For example, The Texas Education Agency said after the governor’s orders that schools should continue to mandate masks. 

Meanwhile, some local officials have defied the governor’s orders to stop enforcing some broader restrictions.

‘We’re not going to rescind anything,’ Austin Mayor Steve Adler told CNN on Thursday. ‘We told our community that we would always be guided by the data and the doctors, and we’re going to continue that.’




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