Alabama officer under investigation after using force against maskless Walmart customer

Published 12:49 pm Friday, May 8, 2020

A video on social media of an altercation between a police officer and customer over the customer’s failure to wear a mask has prompted an investigation by the Birmingham Police Department.

A video of the incident, which took place Tuesday night at Walmart in Roebuck has been shared thousands of times on Facebook and shows the officer handcuffing a woman who is not complying. He then picks her up and takes her to the ground. He ultimately gets her handcuffed and she is seen in later video standing with no apparent injuries.

Birmingham police spokesman Sgt. Rod Mauldin said the officer was off-duty and working security for Walmart. He said the department is aware of the video and released this statement on behalf of the department:

“The same day the interaction occurred immediate actions were taken for the sake of public trust and transparency.

“A preliminary investigation consistent with the Birmingham Police Department reportable use of force protocols were immediately initiated and investigators of the Internal Affairs Division are conducting an investigation. This protocol applies for all use of force incidents that occur within the Birmingham Police Department.

“We understand we are operating in trying times. The Birmingham Police Department has maintained a consistent community oriented educational approach to the surrounding circumstances of Covid-19. As a department we have been successful in our efforts to gain compliance and cooperation from the vast majority of citizens in Birmingham. 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.”