A couple wearing red face masks with Swastika signs imprinted on them was seen at a Walmart in Marshall, Minnesota. The act sparked an outcry after the couple was caught on camera by one of the shoppers who posted the video on Facebook. Following the furor, the couple was banned from Walmart stores for at least a year.
Police responded to the supermarket, Saturday, July 25, after receiving reports about two people wearing face masks with the Nazi symbol, Swastika emblazoned on it.
According to Marshall PD Sergeant Jason Buysse, a notice of trespass was issued to both the shoppers.
The 59-year-old man and a 64-year-old woman, whose identities are unknown, were caught on camera while they were confronted by fellow shoppers who reacted against the hateful act.
The video went viral after Raphaela Mueller, a vicar of a southwest Minnesota parish, filmed the couple and posted the video on Facebook.
“You can’t be American and wear that mask, you cannot. We literally had a war about this. And the Nazis lost,” a man is heard talking to the swastika-wearers.
Mueller said she felt nauseated and wanted to cry, “which I ended up doing,” when she saw the couple.
“I was speechless and shocked. I have heard of (things like this) happening in other places but I never thought I would see something like that,” she said while speaking to The Associated Press, Sunday.
The couple made it clear in the video that their act was in a protest against Minnesota’s face-covering mandate.
“If you vote for (Joe) Biden, you’re going to be living in Nazi Germany,” the woman with the swastika mask is heard in the video.
Calling the incident “unacceptable,” Walmart released a statement saying, “We strive to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all our customers and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business,” as per USA Today.
“We are asking everyone to wear face coverings when they enter our stores for their safety and the safety of others and it’s unfortunate that some individuals have taken this pandemic as an opportunity to create a distressing situation for customers and associates in our store,” the statement from the retail giant read.
After watching the video, the Governor of Minnesota, Tim Walz took to Twitter.
“Disgraceful, plain and simple, Thank you to the bystanders who stood up to this unacceptable, hate-fueled behavior,” Walz tweeted.