COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The attorney for a woman who was tased this week at a middle school football game in Logan after she refused to wear a facemask says the school district involved “misapplied the law, and misapplied it haphazardly and violently.”
Alecia Kitts was attending a Logan Middle School game Wednesday as a supporter of Marietta Middle School. She was approached by School Resource Officer Chris Smith and asked to wear a mask. She did not, saying she suffers from asthma. Smith then asked her to leave the stadium, and when Kitts did not, handcuffed her — applying a Taser to her right shoulder area in the process — and escorted her out.
The video was taken Wednesday by a spectator in another section of the stands. The confrontation was posted to Facebook, where it went viral Thursday and even caught the attention of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine.
“Tasing this lady over not wearing a d— mask,” says a person on the video.
Kitts’ attorney, Maurice A. Thompson of Columbus, says that the Logan Hocking Local School District was misapplying a state order related to masks at sports events during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Ms. Kitts explained to the policy officer and administrators that she has asthma, but they ignored her,” Thompson said in a statement to KXAN sister station WCMH. “Their position was that un-masked asthmatic must leave the stadium, (which) is not consistent with any directive or other law.”
He also said that Kitts was far enough away from spectators not in her family to safely not wear a mask under the state order.
“Ms. Kitts was obviously alone with her children, outdoors, at a distance of much greater than six feet from anyone else. … Thus, she broke no Ohio law, not even the Governor’s own legally-dubious health directives upon which the school relied,” Thompson said.
Logan school and police officials have said that Kitts was asked to leave and then removed as a trespasser when she failed to comply with the officer’s orders.
The statement from police read in part:
It is important to note, the female was not arrested for failing to wear a mask, she was asked to leave the premises for continually violating school policy. Once she refused to leave the premises, she was advised she was under arrest for criminal trespassing, she resisted the arrest, which led to the use of force.
“She committed no crime and thus committed no ‘criminal trespass,’” Thompson said. “Logan School District totally misapplied the law, and misapplied it haphazardly and violently.”
After being escorted out, police say that Kitts refused treatment from local EMS.