Walmart Called Police on Customers for Not Following This CDC Guideline
Coronavirus policies are creating conflict everywhere, including at the world's largest retailer.
A Walmart location in Turlock, California, called the police after a family neglected to wear masks while shopping in the store, and then refused to leave when asked. According to reporting by the Sacramento Bee, two videos of the incident were posted on Facebook by an individual who noted that it was two children with the adults who weren't wearing masks. The videos show the family being escorted out of the store and a police officer explaining the situation to the individual capturing the videos.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has made clear that wearing a mask when in public, along with thorough hand-washing and social distancing, is a crucial component to abate the spread of the COVID-19 contagion that has led to roughly 120,000 deaths in the U.S. since March.
Wearing a face mask, however, has become a political issue in these hyper-partisan times we find ourselves in, as some feel mandatory mask-wearing infringes on personal rights. Private businesses like Walmart, however, can limit who shops in their store in the name of larger public safety. Walmart requires all staff members to wear masks and has instituted other policies designed to keep shoppers and associates safe during this public health crisis.
In a Facebook Live video, the local police chief Nino Amirfar addressed the situation. "We responded to the business because the business managers requested that we respond for trespassing, as the individuals refused to leave," Amirfar said. "Our response was only for trespassing, and my officers did an outstanding job in regards to gaining compliance and asking the individual to leave. He even waited and explained to another customer that was videoing."
Amirfar went on to remind people to practice social distancing and wash their hands, before noting that his police department would not be responding to businesses "solely because someone isn't wearing a mask."
Watch the video of the incident below: