EDITOR NOTE: Folks, we value privacy, the freedom to act within America’s laws, and the freedom of speech. We don’t support government overreach, government’s coercive action beyond “locally-agreed” laws and conventions, and any “police state” action that violates any of our basic rights and freedoms. So, considering the woman who’s the focal point of the article below, if you want to exercise your freedom NOT to wear a mask, don’t do it on someone else’s private property (if it’s not in agreement with the entity who owns that property). The bank owns its physical space the same way you own your home. If you have no right to act as you wish on someone else’s property, then banks or any other private business space shouldn’t be any different. It’s simple and fair. If you have a problem with the local or state laws, then you’ve got to rally the constituents of local lawmakers to change the laws. It’s all about locality--as in bottom-up. The federal government is often intrusive enough in many ways that we cover on a regular basis. Localism is the closest you may get to an independent society operating according to its desired freedoms. So get more politically active if you disagree with local laws. But don’t lower yourself to the level of a coercive overreaching government by forcing yourself upon others in their own private space.
Just a day after Texas rolled back COVID-19 restrictions, including those mandating face coverings in public, a woman's arrest has emerged stemming from her refusal to wear a mask.
Body camera footage released by Galveston police shows officers confronting the woman inside a Bank of America branch on Central City Boulevard.
The footage, taken on Thursday, begins with an officer being directed by a bank manager to the woman. The officer encounters the woman who expresses frustration over being told to wear a mask, invoking the state's lifted mandate.
However, the officer is heard reminding the woman that businesses can refuse service to anyone that does not comply with masking policies, which is something that Gov. Greg Abbott still allowed.
After the woman said she wants to take her money out from the bank, the officer tells her to go get a mask and come back to do so.
With the woman giving pushback, the officer says, "Ma'am, listen, we can do this the easy way or the hard way."
"What are you going to do? Arrest me?" she asks. "That's hilarious."
The confrontation escalates with the woman raising her voice at other bank customers, and that's when it becomes physical.
The woman is taken down to the ground and arrested.
Police identified the woman as 65-year-old Terry Wright, who was arrested on a charge of resisting arrest and criminal trespass. Officers added she sustained minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment.
In an interview Friday with Eyewitness News, Wright said she traveled to Galveston in an RV to cross off items off her bucket list. She was at the bank to close her account and the Central City location was the only one that was open to her.
She said she would have preferred to go through a drive-thru but couldn't with her RV. Still, she says, she's glad she stood her ground, adding that she is "very opposed" to masks and doesn't believe in the pandemic.
"I won't wear that diaper on my face!" she told ABC13.
Wright's arrest came a day after Texas officially lifted mandates statewide over virus prevention protocols. In lifting those mandates, Gov. Abbott put controls over protections back in the hands of individual businesses, but reminded Texans that personal responsibility is key with the coronavirus still rampant.
Legally, individual businesses are allowed to set their own safety protocols against the coronavirus, and, like in Wright's case, can refuse service to patrons who don't abide by policy.
Bank of America declined to comment on the arrest. They released the following statement of their policies:
"We remain focused on supporting the health and safety needs of our associates, clients and communities. This includes ensuring our practices and policies are aligned with the most up-to-date guidance from medical professionals and public health experts. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other medical experts continue to reinforce the importance of using face coverings and practicing physical distancing in all public spaces. In accordance with that ongoing guidance, we continue to require everyone who enters our financial centers wear a face covering. If clients inform us that they are uncomfortable wearing a face covering or unable to do so, we recommend they use our ATMs or drive-through window. Clients also can utilize mobile and online banking for the majority of their day-to-day banking needs."
Originally posted on ABC13