A video taken at a junior high football game in Ohio has become a cultural Rorschach test that perfectly encapsulates 2020.
Alecia Kitts was sitting in the bleachers at the game and repeatedly ignored PA announcements that masks were required for all attendees. The school was adamant about the mask requirement to avoid the football season from being shut down.
"If you chose not to (wear a mask) then you threaten not only our ability to have sports but put your ability to watch as a spectator in jeopardy as well," Marietta City Schools Superintendent Will Hampton said according to The Daily Mail.
Woman tased, arrested after not wearing mask at football game in Logan, Ohio | ABC7 www.youtube.com
But when asked by School Resource Officer Chris Smith to mask up, Kitts refused, claiming that she has asthma.
Kitts response is strange being that people with asthma have a higher risk of dying from COIVD-19, so it'd be in her best interest to wear a mask when in public.
So, the officer had to take things to the next level by physically removing her from the venue. "You're not arresting me for nothing, I ain't doing nothing wrong," Kitts protested.
"Let go of me!" Kitts yelled. "Get off of me, sir! What the f*** is wrong with you?"
Then, a struggle ensured with Kitts refusing to comply with the officer. So he pulled out his taser and zapped her on the shoulder, causing her to plunge down to the next bleacher level.
One incredulous person at the scene of the incident can be heard on the video saying, "Tasing this lady over not wearing a damn mask." You can almost feel the "smh" head shake happening off-camera.
Here's where things get dicey.
Some look at the tasing and say that it's an extreme use of force for not wearing a mask. But, the reason she was hit with the taster is that she was physically resisting her removal. So, the officer used it to gain some leverage over her.
To some, the scene appears to be the state using oppressive violence to subdue a woman who's exercising her freedom to go without a mask.
However, some say that it was totally fine for the woman to be tased because she posed a major health risk to those around her by not wearing a mask. Heck, if she had COVID-19, she put other people watching the game at risk of a deadly disease. Not cool.
To go a step further, how would people's reactions change if the woman being tased was Black and the officer was white?
The sign requiring masks as you walk into the stadium for Logan’s football field. Two women have been charged with… https://t.co/S7lhDJpCa2— Lacey Crisp (@Lacey Crisp)1601064391.0
After the tasing, Kitts wised up and allowed herself to be handcuffed and removed from the stadium.
The Logan Police Department released a statement in support of Officer Smith.
"After several attempts to get her to leave, Officer Smith advised her she was under arrest for criminal trespassing and asked her to place her hands behind her back multiple times and she refused," the police statement reads.
"Officer Smith attempted to place her hand behind her back, the female began resisting by pulling away from the Officer and another female began interfering with the arrest," the statement continues. "Officer Smith advised her to comply or he would deploy his Taser if she did not quit resisting.
The department also clarified that she was not arrested for refusing to wear a mask but because she wouldn't leave the premises.
"Once she refused to leave the premises, she was advised she was under arrest for criminal trespassing, she resisted the arrest, which led to the use of force," the statement reads.
However one feels about the video, we'd all just like life to go back to normal where we can attend public events like football games without the feat of becoming COVID-19's next victim. Kitts should have understood that we're all in this together and that the more of us who mask up, the faster life will return to normal.
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