Terry Wright, a 65-year-old woman who was traveling through Galveston, Texas, was arrested on the premises of Bank of America after refusing to wear a protective mask.
After she rejected the police officer’s order, the woman was pulled down on the ground and handcuffed.
The event was documented by a video that starts with a scene in which a bank worker directs the police officer to the part of the office in which Terry Wright was standing.
When he came to Wright, the officer asked her to leave but faced Wright’s resistance.
The woman kept emphasizing that masks are not required in Texas while the officer stressed that private enterprises have every right to mandate mask-wearing on their premises.
When Wright remained steady in her refusal, the police officer used force to arrest her.
Wright started shouting that she is the victim of police brutality, while most other customers present expressed disapproval of her behavior in the bank.
Wright was soon charged with criminal trespass and arrest resisting.
In an interview with Eyewitness News, the woman explained that she strongly opposes the mask mandate policies, adding that she does not view the COVID-19 pandemic as a threat.
Wright illustrated her stance by saying that she is unwilling to wear a diaper on her face and informed reporters that she sustained some injuries.
Private enterprise against the state
The incident occurred just a few days after Texas Governor Greg Abbott abolished the statewide mask mandate that has been in force for around eight months.
Soon after the incident, Bank of America issued an official statement in which they emphasized the importance of the mask policy, citing the recommendations made by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The event sparked controversies about whether private enterprises could require their customers to wear masks even though there is no such requirement on the state level.
During the speech in which he announced the abolition of the statewide mask mandate, Governor Abbott said that the policy does not mean that citizens should not wear masks in public.
He continued that now, it becomes a matter of personal responsibility whether a person would wear a mask in public or not.
Given these statements, it seems that even those who support Texas mask-wearing policy would condemn Wright’s behavior as irresponsible.
It is a whole other matter whether the police officer was justified in using force against Wright.