Black man has Covid after being ‘wrongfully detained’ by maskless police officer

Yasemin Craggs Mersinoglu
Thursday 31 December 2020 09:59
news

A Black man who was wrongfully detained by maskless police officers in a susepcted case of racial profiling now has Covid-19.

Jamar Mackey has blamed the officers for his coronavirus diagnosis after they were filmed detaining him at a shopping mall in Virginia in a viral video earlier in the month.

A sergeant from the Virginia Beach Police Department, who was not wearing a mask, handcuffed Mackey in front of his fiancée, 13-year-old son and newborn baby while they were seated at a food court after claiming to suspect him of a crime.

In the clip, Mackey's fiancée Shantel Covil told the officer: "What did he do? He did nothing. Y'all got the wrong person.”

The sergeant is seen to walk Mackey outside where they are joined by more maskless officers.

The police then tell Mackey they got the wrong person after he matched the suspect’s description and said it was “a complete misunderstanding”.

The couple asked why the sergeant didn’t ask questions first while the wrongfully detained man also had to demand for the handcuffs to be removed. 

Mackey is later heard saying: “This is what we march for. That’s why we say Black Lives Matter… this is how y’all treat us.”

After the video went viral, the officers and the department were accused of racial profiling and the police chief confirmed officers are required to wear face coverings, adding that those who fail to do so "will be addressed".

The couple own a sanitation business, and Covil also runs a healthcare business, so told TMZ they have been taking the pandemic seriously and regularly get tested.

They believe the officers passed the virus to Mackey, who received a positive test three days later. Though there’s no way of knowing for sure whether this is true.

The police department reportedly declined to comment on whether the police involved in the incident also tested positive for the coronavirus due to privacy laws. 

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