In the latest addition to the series of “face mask freakouts” clips flooding the internet, a Lake Travis ISD Texas School Board candidate was arrested for assault after a confrontation with a Nordstrom Rack employee.
Watch the Trending Video of ‘Karen on steroids’
The incident went down on April 7 at Nordstrom Rack on Brodie Lane in Austin, Texas. According to the Nordstrom Rack employee, the woman — who was later identified as Kara Bell — claimed to have a medical exemption allowing her to go maskless. After reportedly showing an employee out of her way, Bell (who social media had dubbed “Karen on steroids”) went into the dressing room where she allegedly tried on clothes and called the Nordstrom Rack corporate office.
When the Sunset Valley police arrived, the staffer was waiting outside the store. In the body camera video, you can hear the employee say, “She kept pushing and pushing so I put my arm out to block her from my entrance and then she shoved me!”
The police officers escorted Bell from the fitting rooms outside the store, where they attempted to ask for her I.D. Bell refused to identify herself and began to yell at the officers. “Actually, I don’t [need to identify myself],” she says in the bodycam clip. “It’s called common law.”
‘Woman of God’
“It kind of seems like it’s a racist thing when a black woman doesn’t have a mask on but she comes after the white woman,” Bell also says. “I mean, that’s the only difference, we’re both women.”
“I am a woman of God,” Bell continues. “This is my right as much as it is yours. This is my land as much as it is yours. I did not sign up for this. I am a Christian woman of God and you are not gonna put your disgusting rules on me that are false and not true. I will not have it. I’m sick of being bullied and I’m sick of being lied to. It’s not going to happen anymore, do you understand?”
During her speech, Bell took a step towards the officer, the police report says. Right before she was about to lay down some knowledge about the CDC, Bell was handcuffed by the officers. “Oh my gosh!” Bell is heard saying in the viral video.
Bell received an assault citation for a Class C misdemeanor, which is punishable by a fine of up to $500, reports local news outlet KVUE ABC. The Lake Travis School Board candidate has not responded to multiple media requests for comments. According to Fox 7, Bell had also called into the Austin and Travis County Commissioner’s Court joint session to state there is no scientific proof that face coverings can slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. According to the CDC, she is wrong.
The now-viral video footage was shared by Twitter user @WUTangKids, who tweeted “Maskless moron talking to cops outside Nordstrom Rack in Austin gets dealt with ‘I am a Christian woman of God”. The post has seen more than 735,000 views.
What are Texas and Local Mask Mandates?
The statewide mask mandate was eliminated in Texas by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.
However, the order — which President Biden called “Neanderthal thinking” — stated that businesses may still implement mask policies at their own discretion. “Nothing in this executive order precludes businesses or other establishments from requiring employees or customers to follow additional hygiene measures, including the wearing of a face covering.”
In addition, current Health Authority Rules for Austin-Travis County include “a requirement for businesses to require individuals to wear face coverings in most circumstances” to limit the spread of the pandemic.