Black Man Mistakenly Detained By Unmasked Officers in Virginia Tests Positive For COVID-19

Written by on December 31, 2020

Jamar Mackey, a Black man wrongfully detained by unmasked officers in Virginia Seashore, Virginia, has examined optimistic for COVID-19 and is now affected by gentle signs. 

Mackey was handcuffed by police whereas consuming a meal together with his household in Virginia Seashore’s Lynnhaven Mall on Dec. 19. The incident was caught on digicam by Mackey’s fiancée, Shantel Covil, who posted it on Fb. 

Within the viral footage, which had greater than 40,000 reactions and 30,000 shares as of Thursday, Mackey might be heard repeatedly asking the officer handcuffing him to clarify the detainment. After police escort Mackey and his household exterior, officers inform them that Mackey matched the outline of a Black man with dreadlocks who was suspected of utilizing stolen bank cards. Finally, it turns into clear that the police have the incorrect man, and a distraught Mackey is launched. 

“That is how we get handled in 2020,” Mackey yells on the finish of the clip. “This is the reason we are saying Black Lives Matter.”

Mackey, who was consuming on the time of the detainment and had his masks quickly lowered, took a COVID-19 check on Dec. 22, native outlet WAVY-TV reported. His optimistic check outcome got here again on Christmas Eve.

Covil didn’t reply to HuffPost’s requests for remark. However she informed WAVY-TV that within the wake of the incident, the household is now intently watching their teenage son and 8-week-old toddler. Mackey’s signs embody a “low-grade fever, a cough and a sore throat,” and the household believes they could have been uncovered to the coronavirus in the course of the detainment, she stated.

“I’m very offended that they put my household in danger,” Covil informed the outlet. “Me and Jamar, that’s one factor however our youngsters, that’s what upsets me essentially the most.”

“They arrested him, in fact, no gloves, no masks,” she stated. “They took us out of our bubble, out of our secure area.”

The Virginia Seashore Police Division addressed the incident in an announcement and press convention on Dec. 21, with Police Chief Paul Neudigate saying an investigation was ongoing.

Neudigate stated an precise suspect charged with bank card fraud was in custody and a “doable third occasion” could have recognized Mackey because the suspect to officers. Neudigate added that the dearth of masks could be addressed at a later date, and it was “completely the expectation that officers will use a masks and put on a masks in accordance with the governor’s directive.”

“Proper or incorrect, we’ve got to have the ability to apologize when our actions drastically inconvenience a member of the neighborhood that we serve,” Neudigate stated. “So let me take this chance to personally lengthen my apology to Mr. Mackey for this incident.”

As of Dec. 23, Mackey informed WAVY-TV that he was nonetheless talking together with his lawyer relating to doable authorized motion in opposition to the Virginia Seashore Police. He added that he would take an apology extra significantly if it got to him instantly.

“I haven’t been reached out to but,” Mackey stated. “They did their interview stay on Fb, however, I’ll settle for it if he contacts my cellphone, contacts my lawyer — perhaps then, I might take it extra significantly.”

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