Alabama police officer violently takes down maskless woman in Walmart

The woman was arrested at a Walmart (not pictured).
The woman was arrested at a Walmart (not pictured).(David Zalubowski/AP)

The arrest of a Birmingham, Ala., woman by an off-duty police officer working as a Walmart security guard went viral after it happened on Tuesday night, with video showing the officer violently taking the woman down to the floor. The fact that the woman wasn’t wearing a mask in a public store sparked concerns that her arrest was caused by her violating a coronavirus-related face-covering ordinance.

However, on Thursday, authorities said that the still-unnamed woman was arrested for unrelated reasons. She has since been charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, third-degree criminal trespassing, possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.

Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Rod Mauldin said that the confrontation occurred because the woman yelled curse words at the Walmart’s customers and employees, and she refused to leave the store when asked. He claimed that the woman was not injured, and stressed that the police department does not as a matter of policy arrest people for simply violating the mask ordinance.

“We understand we’re operating in trying times,’’ Mauldin said in a video statement. “The Birmingham Police Department has maintained a consistent, community-oriented educational approach to the surrounding circumstances of COVID-19.”


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