As a backlash against mandatory face masks grows, people are finding more and more ways to voice their dissatisfaction with the requirement. Some people have tried printing fake exemption cards to avoid having to mask up. Others have taken to social media to send their face coverings up in flames. Now, a woman has gone viral for taking the fight directly to the masks themselves, filming herself as she viciously attacked a mask display in an Arizona Target.
A Shameful Display
The video clip was apparently shared to Instagram from the account @wtpnewscorp. It begins as the woman films a display of face masks on display in a Target store.
WARNING: The following video contains excessive amounts of explicit language.
This woman in Scottsdale, Arizona was super upset with Target for selling face masks. So upset in fact, that she attacked their display….pic.twitter.com/ye9LiDz0JH— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 5, 2020
“Finally we meet the end of the road,” the woman says, before continuing that she had been looking forward to the moment “all my […] life.”
The woman then begins pulling and knocking masks from the display to the ground, repeatedly cursing in the process. At one point, she is confronted by two store employees who ask her to stop.
“Why? Why? You let everybody else do it,” the woman replies. “What, I can’t do it because I’m a blonde white woman?” She then mentions wearing a “$40,000 […] Rolex,” before the clip cuts off.
The New York Post has reported that the woman is Melissa Rein Lively, whom Heavy identifies as the proprietor of the Brand Consortium, an Arizona-based public relations firm.
WARNING: The following video also contains explicit language.
Continued…— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) July 5, 2020
Police came to her house and she was arrested on IG Live saying she is a spokesperson for QAnon & the White House and wanted the police to “call Donald Trump and ask him” because she can’t share any “classified information.”
An Instagram video apparently shared by the Brand Consortium’s profile appears to show the aftermath of the incident, as police confront the woman at her home. In the footage, the woman makes references to Donald Trump and the QAnon conspiracy before accusing the officers of profiling her for being Jewish.
While the viral video bears the Instagram handle of the Brand Consortium, the video currently does not appear on the Instagram profile.
Meanwhile, a Twitter account appearing to belong to Lively, @wtpnewscorp, posted a video on July 2 that seems to capture the moments before the incident. In the video, a woman, presumably Lively, films as she mocks other customers for wearing masks.
WARNING: You guessed it, explicit language:
In a statement to Newsweek, the Target store said they would cooperate with law enforcement in investigating the matter. “We provided local law enforcement with video footage and will continue to provide any information that can be helpful to their investigation,” the statement read.
Local police have not made a statement on the matter, and it is unclear from the available footage whether or not Lively was ultimately arrested.