Video shows police detaining a Texas school board candidate on April 7 following an alleged altercation with a Nordstrom Rack employee. The woman refused to wear a mask and refused to identify herself to police who attempted to issue her an assault citation, the Austin American-Statesman reports.
Kara Bell, who is challenging Lake Travis’ incumbent for Place 2 on the school board, says she was “shoved” by a Nordstrom Rack employee in viral police body camera footage. The police officers called to the scene say that the employee claims Bell shoved her and that the employee “has witnesses.”
Bell, maskless, states that there “was also another woman without a mask” and that the employee “only picked” her. She continues, “She only picked me, the white person. Not the Black person … Do you think it’s a racist thing? I don’t know.”
The officer says, “We’re not here to talk about race.” Bell responds, “Well you know what? It kind of seems like it is a racist thing when the Black woman doesn’t have a mask on, but she comes after the white woman.”
One of the officers asks her for her name, and she says, “Why is it any of your business?” The officer responds, “Because we have to identify you. If I can’t identify you, I’m taking you to jail.”
Bell speaks to someone on the phone and states that she was “just assaulted at a store for not doing anything wrong.” The officer responds, “We’re not on either side, we don’t know what’s going on because we can’t identify you.”
She calls the officer out by name and says the police “are taking sides.” She walks to the front of the entrance, and one of the officers says, “You can’t leave, you are still being detained.”
The officer tells Bell that if she is a “victim of assault,” they need to know who she is. The officer says her name, which she previously said on the phone earlier, and Bell says that the officer “is lying.”
“This is my land as much as it is yours,” Bell says. “I did not sign up for this. I am a Christian woman … and you are not going to put your disgusting rules on me that are false and not true.”
As Bell steps toward the officer, the other officer puts Bell’s hands behind her back.
According to a police report, Bell completed a victim statement, and the employee was given a citation for assault by contact which was later “voided” after two employee witnesses corroborated her account of the events, per Austin American-Statesman.
Sunset Valley Police Chief Lenn Carter said an assault citation is a “Class C misdemeanor,” punishable by a fine of up to $500, per Austin American-Statesman.
Marco Alvarado, the director of communications for Lake Travis Independent School District, wrote in an email to the Daily Dot that the school district is “aware of the incident” but could not comment due to election laws.
In response to the body camera footage, one individual tweeted, “Watching people who’ve never experienced oppression have these performative tantrums trying to pretend they are oppressed is nauseating. Meanwhile they are perfectly fine with the actual oppression of others.”
Another asked why police “aren’t kneeling on her neck.” One person tweeted: “Christian Karen goes from cross to cuffs.”
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