The images show a police officer entering the Bank of America branch in Galveston and telling the woman that the bank can deny her service if she does not put on a mask. She insists she should not do so and the agent tells her she will be arrested for “intrusion into the premises” if she refuses to cooperate or leave the bank. Finally, the agent handcuffs her and pulls her off the bench.
Terry White, 65, told KTRK that he entered the bank without a mask and that an employee asked him if he had any. White replied, “No, thank you, I don’t need any” and the employee offered him a mask.
When White turned down the mask, he said he was being asked to leave.
“I said no, I just want to close my account and then I leave,” he told KTRK. “(The employee) says, ‘Well, if you don’t leave, I’ll call the cops.’ I said, ‘Well, do what you have to do.'”
Galveston Mayor Craig Brown told CNN that the woman was arrested for rape of charges, “not for not wearing a mask.”
According to KTRK, police said White was charged with criminal rape and resisting arrest.
CNN has contacted White, but has not received a response. Neither the Galveston Police Department nor Bank of America has responded to requests for comment.
Which shows the footage
Body camera footage shows a Galveston police officer entering the bank and confronting the woman on Thursday, telling her, “Ma’am, if they ask you to leave, you have to leave.”
The woman tells the agent that she is trying to withdraw the money. The agent responds by telling the officer that he still has to “comply with the rules.”
“Companies have the right to refuse service, even if you don’t wear a mask. That’s your choice,” the official says.
“What are you going to do,” he asks, “arrest me?”
“Yes, by intrusion into the premises,” the agent says. He tells the woman to go outside.
The woman insists she is in a public place (“This is a private business,” the agent says) and accuses her of “taking away people’s human rights.”
A brief struggle ensues when the woman initially appears to resist as the officer begins to handcuff her. He soon finds himself on the floor of the bank, telling other people in the bank, who appear to be wearing masks, “Police brutality, people.”
“No,” they say. “No, it is not.”
The agent removes the woman from the bank. He says he believes the officer broke his foot and that the agent is calling for emergency medical services. Place it in the back of a patrol car before the material runs out.
The reopening is a “delicate balance,” the mayor says
In an interview Friday, White told KTRK he was traveling to Galveston in his RV and was aware of the governor’s order lifting the mask’s warrant. KTRK reported that White was happy to have stood firm and that she is “very opposed” to the masks, saying at one point, “I won’t wear this diaper on my face.”
“Many of the businesses and restaurants and shopping areas here on the island continue to apply or require all of their customers and clients to wear masks,” Galveston Mayor Brown said. “This particular incident was a lady who refused to do so. The bank had said that was their policy.”
“It’s a delicate balance,” he added, to keep security as places open. “That’s why we still encourage everyone on our island to maintain social distancing and wear their mask.”