A Texas woman was arrested last week after allegedly refusing to follow a bank’s mask policy and then refusing to leave the business.
In police body camera footage, the woman, identified by CNN as 65-year-old Terry Wright, can be seen being placed in handcuffs by police inside a Bank of America branch in Galveston on Thursday.
The video, which lasts for a little more than 4 minutes, starts shortly after the officer enters the bank and is pointed in the direction of White, who is standing in line and not wearing a mask. Though Texas lifted its statewide mask mandate last week, individual businesses can continue to enforce masking requirements.
Maam, Ill say, if that says leave, you have to leave, the officer could be heard telling White off-screen shortly after he approaches her in line.
My moneys in this bank and Im going to take it out, White tells the officer.
Well, then you have to abide by the rules and you have to have a mask on, he tells her, adding that businesses have the right to refuse service even if youre not wearing a mask.
Thats why Im taking my money out, she continues.
Awesome, the officer responds. Well, you need to go and a get a mask and then take your money out.
When she continues to protest, the officer tells her, Maam, listen, were gonna do this the easy way or the hard.
What are you gonna do, arrest me? she asks.
Yes, for intruding on premises, the officer says.
The law says that I do not have to wear a mask, she tells the officer.
You do not in public, he informs her, but youre not in public this is not a public place, this is a private business.
The officer then tells White to go outside and she begins to walk away from the officer after telling him that hes taking away peoples human rights.
When the officer appears to try to take out his handcuffs, the woman then swipes away from him.
A struggle ensues between the woman and the officer and she eventually is handcuffed on the ground.
Police brutality, people,” she says to the people inside the bank.
No, others in the bank could be heard saying back to her. No, it’s not.
White told a CNN affiliate that an employee offered her a mask upon entering the bank, which advises customers online to be “prepared to wear a face mask or covering to enter” its financial centers, but that she declined.
Despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) recently rolling back his states mask mandate, Galveston Mayor Craig Brown told CNN that many of the businesses and restaurants and shopping areas here on the island are enforcing still, or requesting, that all their clients and customers wear masks.
This particular incident was a lady that refused to do that, the bank had said that’s their policy, he continued, while also adding that White had been arrested on charges of trespassing, not for her refusal to wear a mask.
It’s a delicate balance, he said. That’s why we still encourage everyone on our island to maintain social distancing and wear their mask.