An Ohio mother was tasered and forcefully removed from a middle school football game after refusing to wear a mask, according to Market Watch.
A video of the encounter quickly went viral and has sparked a debate with social media users over the enforcement of social distancing guidelines during the pandemic.
The woman has been identified as Alecia D. Kitts.
Reports reveal that Kitts got into an altercation with school resource officer Chris Smith at the Logan High School Stadium early Wednesday evening.
A bystander caught the incident on camera, and the video quickly garnered more than 44,000 views on Facebook FB, -0.76% before going viral on Google-owned YouTube GOOG, -0.40% and Twitter TWTR, -0.47%.
The Logan Police Department released a statement via Facebook, which revealed that Smith reportedly asked Kitts to wear a mask, but she refused because she said that she has asthma.
After being repeatedly asked to wear a mask or leave, Smith told her that she was under arrest for criminal trespassing and asked her to put her hands behind her back, which she refused to do, the report alleged.
Kitts can be heard on the video yelling, “Get off of me! I will not put my hands behind my back. I’m not criminally doing nothing wrong!”
She also yelled “What the f— is wrong with you?” and said Smith was “arresting me for nothing.”
Smith reportedly warned her to comply or he would deploy his Taser.
When she continued to resist, the report says he “placed his Taser on her shoulder area and drive stunned her once. (A “drive stun” is when the Taser is held against the subject’s body and the trigger pulled with no probes being fired, causing pain but not an incapacitating effect.) He was able to successfully handcuff the female at that time.”
“An attendee was asked to comply with the Ohio High School Athletic Association’s and the athletic facility’s policies,” the district’s superintendent Monte Bainter told NBC News in a statement.
“The attendee refused to do so and consequently was asked to leave by the attending law enforcement officer. After resisting the request to exit the premises, the individual was apprehended at the discretion of the attending law enforcement officer.”
“100% social distancing but NOT wearing a mask. This is insane,” tweeted one.
“This is a case of vast overreach,” wrote another, while one woman argued, “This is NOT America.”
Kitts was charged with criminal trespassing and released at the scene.
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Others noted that she was tasered for resisting arrest — not for her refusal to wear a mask. “It’s generally a bad idea to fight with armed men wearing badges,” tweeted one viewer. Another noted, “She had a mask in her pocket and went through all this because she didn’t want to put it on. Smh [shaking my head].”
Many Americans have chafed over mask mandates and other social distancing orders designed to limit the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The virus spreads from person to person primarily through respiratory droplets, so CDC guidelines call for wearing a mask that covers both your nose and your mouth to prevent spreading your own droplets and ingesting droplets from other people. At least 230,000 cases of the coronavirus may have been prevented due to government orders requiring face masks in 15 states and the District of Columbia between April and mid-May, according to one study by two University of Iowa professors. Another study suggests that nearly 45,000 U.S. deaths from coronavirus could be prevented by November if 95% of the population wore masks.