Great moments in hyperbole

A 65-year old woman was arrested because she refused to wear a mask inside a bank in Texas.

Police issued a warrant for the arrest of Terry Wright, 65, of Grants Pass, Oregon. The incident on Thursday at a Bank of America in Galveston was captured by the officer’s body camera, the Galveston County Daily News reported.

Police said they had obtained an arrest warrant on resisting arrest and criminal trespassing charges.

Greg Abbott, the Texas governor, has ended statewide orders requiring people to wear face masks in public places, declaring businesses should decide for themselves what Covid-19 precautions to take on their properties. Many businesses have kept their own mask rules in place.

Wright told the officer the law said she didn’t have to wear a mask. As the officer took out handcuffs, she pulled away and began to walk toward the door. The officer stopped her and forced her to the ground. After she was handcuffed, she complained her foot was injured.

Police said Wright suffered minor injuries during the struggle and was taken to a hospital for treatment.

Wright told the Washington Post she has never covered her face inside stores, even when the statewide mandate was in place.

Here is police bodycam footage of the incident.

Her shouts at the end reminded me so much of Dennis the Peasant shouting “I’m being repressed! See the violence inherent in the system!”

Like Dennis, she seemed to be disappointed that her cries did not rally the other people in the bank to her support and she called them ‘sheeple’. Given that she was in Texas, the home of anti-mask zealots, her expectation that they would recognize her as a fellow fighter in the cause of freedom from tyranny and rip off their own masks and rescue her from the police officer was not unreasonable.

Actually, I think the police officer did over-react. He should have just let her leave the building, which was what she seemed to be finally about to do. After all, that was what everyone had wanted in the first place and while it is true that she had been an obnoxious pest up that point and did taunt the officer, there was no need to treat an elderly person so roughly. She could have been given a citation for trespassing without being arrested.

However, any sympathy that I might have had for the way she was handled dissipated when in a later newspaper interview she later uttered this extreme piece of hyperbole.

She told the newspaper she was “attacked” and compared mask requirements to the way that Nazi Germany forced Jewish people to identify themselves with a Star of David.

Apart from the sheer absurdity and offensiveness of comparing something as trivial as mask wearing to something so serious, it does not even make sense within its own framework. Jewish people were forced by non-Jews to wear the Star of David so that they could be easily identified for discrimination, harassment, and persecution, while mask wearing is being urged by people who also wear masks, so they are asking you to join their group. What would wearing a mask single you out for? And who is going to single you out? Are non-mask wearers going to attack you on the street? Are you going to be denied a job? Are you going to be targeted for extermination?

These people have no sense of proportion.


  1. Bruce says

    This woman who defied the police officer would probably also support the Kentucky law to arrest anyone who “insults” the police.
    As Dennis said, strange women, lying in banks, is no basis fir a system of government. Or something like that.

  2. Sam N says

    Eh, honestly, she was already moving toward the door.

    I detest police tactics. Even for someone endangering the lives of others.

  3. Sam N says

    I firmly believe this could have been resolved and she could have been arrested without cuffing, or even touching her, if our police were well trained.

  4. Sam N says

    Thing is, I’m very sympathetic about Dennis. He seems like a very reasonable guy I’d enjoy hanging out with. I think the comedy is in someone of such ‘low class’ being far far more intelligent and reasonable than a ‘king’.

  5. says

    As the officer took out handcuffs, she pulled away and began to walk toward the door. The officer stopped her and forced her to the ground.

    She’d be dead if she was black.

  6. Numenaster, whose eyes are up here says

    And she’s from Grants Pass, Oregon. Of course she is.

    Grants Pass is in Josephine County, in the southwest corner of Oregon, aka the last part of the state to climb down out of the Extreme Risk category. And it’s because of people like this lady, and their attitude toward masks. Up in Portland we’re back to eating in restaurants and almost circulating as normal, BECAUSE WE WORE OUR MASKS.

  7. ionopachys says

    I’m a bit torn. On the one hand, the cop was, as usual, way too rough. He told her to leave, and when she started to go towards the door he said “oh no, don’t do that!” I guess he was pissed that she pulled away from his grasp, so he had to arrest her for “disrespecting a police officer,” about the most serious offense there is.

    On the other hand, if cops are going to be abusive, I want entitled assholes like her to get a taste of what so many people experience every day. I have not a grain of sympathy for her. I do hope she spends some time in jail.

  8. file thirteen says

    I am on the side of the police, this time. Every time police are delayed when some lawbreaker wants to argue the toss means someone else with a real issue doesn’t get police assistance when they need it.

    She was looking for an argument, and the officer made it clear he wasn’t there to provide that. She was told to leave or put on a mask, was told the law, was told she was going to be arrested if she didn’t comply, and was told the officer wasn’t going to waste time debating with her.

    When she continued to argue, the officer had little choice but to arrest her, and once someone is pronounced under arrest it’s actually too late to attempt compliance, not that she ever did. I don’t think she ever actually went to leave, she just tried to escape being handcuffed.

    Yes, US police are brutal, but this instance was comparatively mild. He never threatened to tase her, thank goodness because once police threaten they feel compelled to carry through with it. I never saw him deliberately hurt her, so if she was hurt it was caused during the struggle when she resisted arrest (what else would you call it?).

  9. ardipithecus says

    Why was she arrested at all? The mask mandate is no longer the law. All she was doing was breaking bank rules. Escorting her from the bank was the most appropriate action.

  10. file thirteen says

    ardipithecus, you’re right, but she wasn’t arrested for not wearing a mask. She was arrested for resisting being trespassed for not following the bank rules, which just happens to be wearing a mask. If she had allowed the officer to escort her out, job done.

  11. Mark Dowd says

    Why was she arrested at all? The mask mandate is no longer the law. All she was doing was breaking bank rules. Escorting her from the bank was the most appropriate action.

    She was asked to leave. By choosing to remain and not follow the rules, she is trespassing, which is a crime.

  12. says

    I would bet money that before this, if she thought about it at all, she said that the Black people killed by cops should have just complied. I would bet money she’s still not in favour of any sort of meaningful reform that would stop so many people being killed by the police.

  13. Numenaster, whose eyes are up here says

    @Tabby #15, I would bet money she STILL thinks Black people killed by cops should have just complied.

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