An off-duty police officer body-slammed an Alabama woman after she refused to wear a mask in a store.
The officer attempted to cuff 18-year-old Krystulen Smith while an unidentified woman in a blue shirt shouts in protest, as a video footage of the incident showed. The woman who is being detained, at some point, turns to face the one in the blue shirt. When she shifts, the officer lifts her and slams her onto the ground, which causes the woman in the blue shirt to explode in anger.
“Record this s—t!” she hollered at a crowd of bystanders.
Smith was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, marijuana possession, possession of a controlled substance and criminal trespassing, according to CNN.
Birmingham Police Sgt. Rod Mauldin said the altercation began after a Walmart employee asked the woman to put on a mask and she refused.
“The reason for the officer’s contact was disorderly conduct and not just the mere violation of a face covering ordinance,” Mauldin said during a press conference on Thursday. Police said the officer made contact with Smith after she punctuated her refusal to wear a mask by directing expletives at store employees and shoppers.
“The female continued and was asked to leave the store. However, she refused,’’ Mauldin added. “The officer began to detain her, however she continued to resist. The officer used a takedown measure to gain control due to the other threat factors in the store.” Mauldin said Smith was not injured by the takedown and refused medical attention.
Birmingham’s face covering ordinance requires citizens to cover their noses and mouths before “interacting with persons who are not part of your household.” Violations could result in a $500 fine or a month in jail, but officers aren’t prioritizing punishment. Late last month Walmart began requiring all U.S. employees to wear masks.
“We understand we’re operating in trying times,” Mauldin said. “Our records indicate we have not issued any citations or made any arrests as it relates to the shelter-in-place ordinance or the face-covering ordinance. We have made a valiant effort to gain compliance and cooperation, and we will continue to do so working with the citizens of Birmingham.”
Smith was booked into the Jefferson County Jail and released on a $10,000 bond.