Black man wrongfully detained by maskless officer tests positive for COVID-19 days after incident
A Black man who was wrongfully detained by a maskless police officer on Dec. 19 has tested positive for the coronavirus, ABC News reported.
Video footage of the incident shows a police officer, without any kind of face covering, approach Jamar Mackey while he’s eating with his family in a mall food court. The officer then puts him in handcuffs and leads him outside, despite Mackey and his fiancée, Shantel Covil, consistently telling the officer he had the wrong man.
“Y’all got the wrong person. We don’t even have a black truck,” Covil is heard saying.
Mackey reportedly matched the description of a suspect wanted for credit card fraud.
Mackey had a mask on throughout the incident, but it was pulled down, exposing his mouth and nose, as he was midmeal when the officer approached him. Five days later, on Christmas Eve, Mackey received a positive COVID-19 diagnosis, according to ABC.
He is currently quarantining and has experienced only mild symptoms, according to 13News Now.
The local news outlet also reported that the Virginia Beach Police Department will not release the COVID-19 status of the detaining officer, as it would be a violation of health privacy laws.
Virginia Beach Police Department Chief Paul Neudigate apologized for what occurred on Dec. 21, saying the officer broke protocol by not being masked.
“It will be addressed,” Neudigate said. “There is a requirement. We are required to wear masks. We set the standard. We set an example for our community.”
The department did not immediately return a request for comment from The Hill.