Dad and two kids thrown out of Walmart in Turlock after defying mask rules
One family has learned that a local Walmart takes its face mask policy seriously.
After a father refused the store manager’s request that his two children wear face coverings while inside the retailer, the Turlock, Calif., police escorted the family outside.
Customer Bobbie Carne, who caught the incident on video, was running errands early Saturday when she heard a man yelling profanities at the manager near the front of the store. The manager had asked that the man’s daughter and son put on face coverings or leave the building.
When the man didn’t comply, the manager called in reinforcement in the form of Turlock police officers.
Police arrived soon after — but not to enforce mask-wearing rules, which are now mandated throughout the state, Chief Nino Amirfar said.
“The Turlock Police Department is not issuing citations for not wearing masks, nor are we going to respond to businesses simply because someone is not wearing a mask,” Amirfar said.
“However, if that business refuses to serve you and asks you to leave, you should leave. If you refuse to leave, that business will request us to respond for trespassing.”
Carne watched as three officers followed the still-screaming dad toward the back of the store.
“And I’m like, ‘This could be bad,’” she said. “I turned on the video because the officers were handling themselves very well. And I thought that if something goes wrong, they’re gonna get backlash and everything.”
As she held up her phone, she recorded the children walking by.
“They have that poor, scared look on their face. I felt bad for them. You know, to have cops following you when you’re a kid, that’s scary. But then you have a dad yelling and making this whole scene,” she said.
Confused about the interaction, Carne turned to speak with a woman next to her. An officer then noticed the women’s discussion and approached them to explain the situation.
“Essentially what we will do is we will come and educate people, talk to them, let them know what is going on. Let them know that the store requires people to wear a mask, so we have to ask people to wear a mask to come into the store,” the officer said in the video. “Gavin Newsom has kind of thrown this on us, and we are trying to respond accordingly.”
Carne said she was grateful for the officer’s explanation but thought the manager overreacted by calling police. After the incident, she posted the videos on Facebook for “educational purposes” so people would understand the police’s role.
Despite those efforts, she said people had been focusing too much on the family getting kicked out of the store. One of her videos has been viewed over 170,000 times.
“This video has gone bigger than my video of saving the baby mountain lion from one of the wildfires. I carried it out in my arms,” said Carne, an independent animal rescuer.
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