‘Take down’ arrest of woman who refused to wear mask in Walmart caught on video

Published 9:54 pm Thursday, May 7, 2020

A woman faces disorderly conduct charges after an altercation that began when a Walmart employee in Alabama asked her to wear a face mask in the store and ended with a police officer performing a “take-down” maneuver on her, officials said.

Video of the confrontation at a Birmingham Walmart circulated widely on social media. The video shows the officer picking the woman up and throwing her to the ground. It appears he was attempting to handcuff her.

The Birmingham Police Department addressed the incident in a video statement.

Sgt. Rod Mauldin said a Walmart employee had told the woman to wear a face mask in the store, and the officer became involved because the woman became disorderly. Mauldin said the woman refused to leave the store and then resisted when the officer tried to detain her.

“The officer used a take-down measure to gain control due to the other threat factors in the store,” Mauldin said.

The department said she was charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and criminal trespass. The department did not release her name.

The police department said it has not issued any citations or made any arrests as it relates to the city’s shelter-in-place ordinance or face covering ordinance.

A group of women who identified themselves as family members of the woman arrested said the woman was leaving the store when the officer used the measure.