NASHVILLE — A day after Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson called on his viewers to openly harass anyone they see wearing a mask in public and to go so far as to call the police and social services on the parents of children wearing masks, law enforcement departments across the country reported a massive uptick in calls reporting people wearing masks.
At least one man was shot as a result of police responding to a call described as a respiratory emergency. Barry Dean, a resident of Nashville, reportedly became combative when deputies refused to request an unidentified woman to remove her mask outside of a Kroger grocery store.
After shouting incoherently that the woman’s mask was making him uncomfortable and he was trying to, “restore the society he was born in,” Dean appeared to reach for something in his pocket, at which point officers opened fire, striking him with multiple rounds.
Dean’s condition is not known as this time, a spokesperson for the Davidson County Sheriff Department said at a press conference.
“He is still very angry about the woman’s mask. He feels he is morally obligated to stop people from wearing masks,” the spokesperson said.
The incident is the latest in a string of law enforcement-involved shootings in the region, including a high school student who was shot and killed after allegedly firing at police officers just weeks ago.
“We take pride in our department’s inclusivity,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s department said. “Here in Davidson County, we’ll shoot anyone regardless of race, creed, or politics.”