Two women were arrested outside of the Mother's grocery store in Costa Mesa, California on Saturday. According to the women, they went into the grocery store without a mask on, at which point the store manager locked them inside. The manager reportedly called the police, at which point the women were arrested and escorted to police vehicles.
A person at the scene provided video of the incident to TheBlaze's Elijah Schaffer:
CALIFORNIA: Multiple people arrested for not wearing masks— ELIJAH RIOT (@ElijahSchaffer) August 15, 2020
A few people decided to walk into the Mother’s grocery store in Costa Mesa without a mask
The store manager then locked them in & called the police
who came in & arrested them for being in public without a mask pic.twitter.com/SLgTJlmZC2
The OC Register said it's unclear why the women were arrested. People were protesting ongoing Wuhan coronavirus restrictions across the street at the time of the incident.
According to the City of Costa Mesa's website, the mask mandate was put in place to prevent the spread of the Wuhan coronavirus.
"The intent of this order is not to issue fines. The intent is to reduce the spread of the virus that has infected more than 4 million Americans and claimed more than 140,000 lives in the U.S., including more than 500 lives in Orange County," the website states. "However, fines can be issued, especially for repeat offenders who jeopardize public health by not wearing a face covering around others."
The city took to Twitter to remind residents and visitors that they are required to wear a face mask or covering or face a $100 fine. The Los Angeles Times reported that fines could be up to $1,000 if need be.
Don’t face a fine. Wear a mask. Wearing a facial covering in public is the Law.— City of Costa Mesa (@CityofCostaMesa) July 18, 2020
No Face Mask = $100 Fine. pic.twitter.com/Q1V2RuKpkM
Local leaders need to get to the bottom of this and find out what happened. For one, if the store manager really did lock these women inside the store until police came, all because they weren't wearing a mask, that sounds like false imprisonment. The order talks about fines, not arrests. And it's up to police to enforce the policy, not business owners.
This is an example of what goes wrong when business owners are policing things. But what's even scarier is no one is talking about the medical exemptions that need to be made for those with health issues. These women look healthy but they could have a breathing issue or severe asthma. They could have a health-related condition that prevents them from wearing a mask. Maskers jump to the conclusion that those who refuse to wear masks are doing so because they're selfish and only care about themselves. The truth is we don't know why they aren't wearing a mask. But we need to stop jumping to conclusions one way or another. And we need to remind people that it's not business owners' job to act as police.