On Saturday morning, a couple was recorded checking out of a Walmart in Minnesota while wearing red face coverings emblazoned with swastikas. According to WCCO-TV, the two shoppers were told to leave and banned from returning to that location.
The video clip was shared on social media and has since gone viral, racking up thousands of views.
Police were called to the Walmart, and the pair were told not to return. If they do, they could be cited for trespassing.
WCCO-TV included a statement from a spokesperson for the retail store.
“What happened today at our store in Marshall, MN is unacceptable. We strive to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all our customers and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business.”
The statement continued, noting that the location was asking all customers to wear protective face coverings amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, the spokesperson added that it was “unfortunate” that some people were using the face mask mandate as “an opportunity to create a distressing situation for customers and associates in our store.”
Additional reporting from The New York Post indicated that the original video clip was first uploaded to Facebook by fellow Walmart shopper Raphaela Mueller.
In the video, the female shopper wearing the swastika face covering could be heard saying, “If you vote for Biden, you’re going to be [living] in Nazi Germany. That’s what it’s going to be like.”
In response to her statement, another person argued that they were “literally wearing Nazi flags.”
“We literally had a f*cking war over this. The Nazis lost. Please don’t wear those masks,” Mueller responded.
The woman fired back that she was trying to warn them and that they did not understand what she was saying. She claimed that by voting for Biden, people would inevitably be ushering in a wave of socialism.
According to the publication, both parties eventually left Walmart without further incident.
This couple wore Nazi flags around their faces inside a Walmart in Marshall, MN to protest the statewide mask mandate that took effect today. I confirmed with a store manager. Video was posted to FB by Raphaela Mueller pic.twitter.com/t3v96PKh25
— Max Nesterak (@maxnesterak) July 25, 2020
Max Nesterak, a reporter for the Minnesota Reformer, shared the disturbing footage on his Twitter account and verified that Mueller first shared it.
He indicated that the couple’s decision to wear those specific masks was part of a protest against Minnesota’s recent “statewide mask mandate,” which went into effect yesterday.
This incident is not the first dispute over masks to occur at a Walmart. Last week, The Inquisitr reported that a Florida man named Vincent Scavetta pulled a gun during a face mask dispute. He was charged with improper firearm exhibition and aggravated assault.