LOS ANGELES (KCAL/KCBS/CNN) – A customer at a North Hollywood Trader Joe’s recorded a woman throwing a tantrum after she was told to wear a face covering inside the store, which just hours earlier celebrated its grand opening.
California mandates masks in public because of the coronavirus pandemic, but people with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt. In the video, the woman says she’s in that group.
She’s also heard yelling expletives and calling people “Democratic pigs,” and seen slamming her shopping basket to the ground.
Employees try to escort the woman from the store. She doesn’t leave at first, saying she didn’t do anything wrong.
Police were called to the Trader Joe’s, but no charges were filed and the woman went home.
Customers said they were disgusted by the woman’s behavior.
“She was saying she had lung or breathing problems, right? Then, she would want to be protected. So, it just makes no sense,” one customer said.
“You’ve got to wear a mask,” said another customer. “The guidelines are, wear a mask. It’s respectful to other people. It’s not just about what feels right for you or what selfishly is best for you. It’s about protecting everybody.”
Millions watched the video on social media and commented on it over the weekend.
One person posted: “As a Trader Joe’s employee, I can’t go a day without being obligated to politely take some level of outrage related to masks. You have to wear a mask for 20 minutes to shop. I have to wear it over eight hours a day, five days a week, and deal with people like this.”
The woman in the video later explained that a medical issue makes it hard for her to breathe out of her nose. She said an employee offered to shop for her, but she wanted to shop for herself.
She also said the store manager allowed her to shop without a mask, but claimed a fellow customer started yelling at her for not wearing one. The woman said the video started recording after that confrontation.
As for calling people “Democratic pigs” in the video, she said she doesn’t regret saying that.