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Police officer allegedly body-slammed Black woman for not wearing a face mask

Photo: A.R. Shaw

Another Black person has encountered violence for allegedly failing to practice social distancing or wear a face mask. Video of an incident that occurred at a Walmart in Birmingham, Alabama, has caused a stir on social media.

A Black woman, who has yet to be identified, became upset after a store employee asked her to wear a face mask, a protective measure against COVID-19, according to NBC News. At some point, the woman reportedly began yelling at the customers and employees.

On the footage, captured by a cellphone camera, an off-duty police officer is seen attempting to handcuff the woman who is not wearing a face mask. While attempting to place the woman in cuffs, the officer lifted the woman off her feet and slammed her to the ground. Several customers looked on in awe as another woman began yelling at the officer.

During the pandemic, Birmingham created an ordinance that required residents to wear face masks while in the public. Walmart stores in Birmingham also require its shoppers to wear a face mask.

However, the officer may have used excessive force in the arrest and is currently being investigated.

“The Birmingham Police Department has maintained a consistent, community-oriented educational approach to the surrounding circumstances of COVID-19,” a spokesman for the Birmingham Police Department said in a statement to TMZ. “Our records indicate, we have not issued any citations or made arrests as it relates to the shelter in place ordinance or the face-covering ordinance. We have made a valiant effort to gain voluntary compliance and we will continue to work cohesively with the community.”

The woman was eventually arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct.

View video of the incident below: