A police officer who tasered a woman who refused to wear a mask at a middle school football game has been bombarded with death threats and racist insults.
Chris Smith, a school resource officer for the Logan Hocking School District in Ohio, garnered national attention this week after a video of the altercation went viral.
The woman, identified as Alicia Kitts, was ultimately arrested and charged with criminal trespassing, resisting arrest, and obstructing official business for refusing to comply with the district’s mask policy.
A wide-spread debate over the incident has since raged online, with many taking sides in the violent dispute.
Some of those opposed to the officer’s actions, according to ABC6, have begun inundating the Logan Police Department with angry and threatening phone calls.
A captain with the department stated that their office is currently receiving more than “300 calls an hour” regarding Smith, who has also received “multiple death threats and racial insults.”
But others have come to the officer’s defense. A Facebook Group made for supporters of Smith has since gained more than 40,000 members.
One man even took to the streets to show his support for Smith, who he described as a “good man.”
A lawyer for Kitts, the woman who was arrested, has argued that his client was exempt from the law due to her asthma.
“Ms. Kitts explained to the policy officer and administrators that she has asthma, but they ignored her,” attorney Maurice A. Thompson told NBC4. “Their position was that un-masked asthmatic must leave the stadium, (which) is not consistent with any directive or other law.”
Officer Smith has since been reassigned from the Logan Hocking School District.
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