City's Face Mask Rule Does Not Go Over Well

'To people who resort to threats and intimidation: shame on you,' says mayor of Stillwater, Okla.
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 3, 2020 6:11 AM CDT
After Threats, City Kills Face Mask Rule
Shoppers wear face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, as they wait to enter a store Monday, April 27, 2020, in Houston.   (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

(Newser) – The city of Stillwater, Okla., enacted a simple requirement that shoppers wear face masks while inside businesses, and it lasted less than 24 hours after something of a revolt. Mayor Will Joyce ended the requirement on Friday—less than 24 hours after it went into effect—amid threatening phone calls to city hall and threats of violence toward store employees, including "one threat of violence using a firearm," per a city manager's statement. "I am not the kind of person who backs down from bullies, but I also will not send someone else to fight the battle for me," Joyce said, per NBC News. "To the people who resort to threats and intimidation when asked to take a simple step to protect your community: shame on you. Our freedom as Americans comes with responsibilities, too."

Face masks are still required for store employees, but are now "strongly recommended" for customers, though individual businesses have the right to require customers to wear them. City Manager Norman McNickle said those who objected had "the mistaken belief the requirement is unconstitutional," adding that it's "unfortunate and distressing that those who refuse and threaten violence are so self-absorbed as to not follow what is a simple show of respect and kindness to others." (Read more face masks stories.)

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