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Video: Police officer confronts Rockwood bus driver over masks

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The man, who’s an officer exterior of the Rockwood college district, tells the bus driver he will report her. Federal rules require masks on college buses.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — Newly obtained video from a college bus safety digital camera reveals the confrontation between a Rockwood college bus driver and a police officer who mentioned he would “report” her for asking children to put on masks on the bus.
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5 On Your Side has confirmed with the Arnold, Missouri, police chief the officer within the confrontation is together with his division which doesn’t patrol any a part of the Rockwood district. Arnold Police Chief Bob Shockey mentioned the officer has kids within the Rockwood college district. 

The video reveals the officer speaking to the bus driver by means of the principle door, standing simply exterior the bus. 

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“OK. I’m going to report you, OK?” mentioned the officer on the video. 5 On Your Side isn’t naming him presently as a result of he has not been charged with any crime.

“You’re going against the law. You know that, right?” he continued. “There’s an executive order by Eric Schmitt saying you cannot wear a mask.”

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The confrontation occurred final Friday. Earlier that week Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt put out a name for fogeys to report college districts nonetheless requiring masks after a Cole County courtroom invalidated masks mandates by state and native well being departments. Schmitt even referred to as for fogeys to take photographs and video of violations.

But Missouri’s lawyer basic doesn’t have the authority to concern government orders and faculty boards throughout the St. Louis area say they’ve the authority to concern their very own mandates separate from well being departments. 

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Rockwood mentioned it requires masks on buses to adjust to federal rules relating to public transportation in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“In the state of Missouri, you don’t have to wear a mask, it’s optional,” the officer continued to say to the bus driver. 

Shockey, the Arnold police chief, informed 5 On Your Side he didn’t imagine the officer obtained on the bus till the driver “called him over” handy the officer a cellphone quantity he had requested to file a criticism. The video seems to indicate the driver wave to the officer earlier than he steps on the bus and he or she arms him one thing. 

It additionally reveals her hand shaking as she calls on the bus two-way radio to ask, “should I proceed?” 

“Yes, please continue on,” somebody responds.

“I think the police officer got the law wrong,” mentioned Saint Louis University regulation professor Rob Gatter, who has studied masks mandates.

Gatter factors out that not solely are masks presently required on busses as a part of a federal order, however he believes college boards don’t fall below the Cole County courtroom ruling that invalidated well being orders from native well being departments.

Gatter additionally notes Missouri’s lawyer basic has no authority to concern an “executive order” because the officer is heard saying on the video.

“While every police officer ought to know what the law is before they go about enforcing it, in some ways I give the police officer a little bit of a pass because the Missouri attorney general has been sowing the seeds of confusion with respect to what the law is about,” Gatter mentioned.

The Rockwood School District confirmed to five On Your Side each the Eureka and Arnold police departments requested copies of the bus video and are mentioned to be investigating. 

The Arnold division, the place the officer works, didn’t return a name for touch upon the video Thursday.

This is a creating story and will likely be up to date as we be taught more.

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