Police in Logan, Ohio, on Thursday sought to clear the air after a viral video (watch it below) showed an officer tasing and arresting a woman who was not wearing a mask during a middle school football game at Logan High School on Wednesday.
The clip begins as an encounter between School Resource Officer Chris Smith and a woman became more confrontational. Police identified the woman as Alicia Kitts, though on what appears to be her Facebook page her first name is Alecia, a spelling used by some local news outlets.
Smith attempts to handcuff Kitts but she repeatedly resists and proclaims no wrongdoing while another woman can be seen trying to intervene while a school official looks on. Smith eventually tases Kitts and cuffs her, and is joined by another officer as Kitts is escorted out of the stadium.
Many on social media criticized the officer for overstepping to deal with mask compliance (a state mandate requiring such coverings is in place).
But in a statement posted Thursday, police said: “It is important to note, the female was not arrested for failing to wear a mask, she was asked to leave the premises for continually violating school policy. Once she refused to leave the premises, she was advised she was under arrest for criminal trespassing, she resisted the arrest, which led to the use of force.”
The department said the officer advised the woman several times that she had to wear a mask, per school policy. When she repeatedly resisted, claiming she had asthma, the officer warned her that if she did not comply, she would have to leave. After she continually refused his request to exit, Smith told her she would be cited for trespassing and escorted off the premises, according to police.
Her resistance continued, the statement said, and Smith tased her, as he had warned he would, to secure the handcuffs on her wrists.
Kitts, of Marietta, Ohio, was charged with criminal trespassing and other charges are pending, police said. The woman seen interfering may also face charges.
The schools in the Logan Hocking district were placed under lockout protocol because of death threats over the matter, an NBC affiliate reported Thursday.
Kitts did not immediately respond to a HuffPost request for comment.
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