A video of the episode shows the woman, Alicia Kitts, yelling at the officer, Chris Smith, as he struggles to handcuff her. “Get off of me!” she screams.
The Police Department in Logan, a city of about 7,000 southeast of Columbus, said in a statement that a school resource officer noticed Ms. Kitts sitting in the stands on Wednesday without a mask, which the department said was a violation of a school policy requiring all spectators to wear face coverings. Officer Smith asked her multiple times to put on a mask but she did not comply, telling the officer that she had asthma, the statement said, and he also asked her multiple times to leave the stands, which she refused to do.
When he advised her she was under arrest and tried to handcuff her arms behind her back, Ms. Kitts resisted and Officer Smith used the Taser on her shoulder, according to the police account. She was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespassing.
“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,” the police statement said.
Ms. Kitts’s lawyer, Maurice A. Thompson, said in a statement that officials from the Logan-Hocking School District ignored Ms. Kitts when she told them she had asthma and disputed the justification that the officer was enforcing a school policy on masks.
Mr. Thompson said the school had no written policy of its own and that the officer was attempting to enforce a statewide policy for mask-wearing. However, he noted, the state policy exempts individuals with respiratory conditions. The school’s position was “not consistent with any directive or other law,” Mr. Thompson said, and the school district “misapplied the law, and misapplied it haphazardly and violently.”
Local media reported that the Logan Police Department said that calls had come in from people who directed racial slurs at Officer Smith, who is Black. On Thursday, district schools were placed on lockdown after various callers made threats directed at the school system and the police department, The Marietta Times reported.