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Timeline: What to know about missing Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen

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US ArmyBy Christina Carrega and Luis Martinez

(NEW YORK) — When Vanessa Guillen was a little girl, she dreamed of joining the Army, her family said.

The Houston native graduated César E. Chavez High School in 2018 and shortly thereafter enlisted, becoming a private first class who worked to repair small arms and artillery while serving with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment.

At some point, her family says she confided in her two sisters, Lupe and Mayra, that she was having problems while posted at Fort Hood, the sprawling Army base outside of Killeen, Texas.

Her sisters said Guillen, 20, told them and fellow soldiers that she was being sexually harassed by a superior and was fearful of reporting the incident because of potential retaliation.

Family attorney Natalie Khawam said while Guillen was taking a shower, a superior came into the bathroom, sat down and watched her.

Fort Hood investigators said on their Facebook page that they “have no credible information or report that Guillen was sexually assaulted.”

While at work on April 22, Guillen was contacted by a fellow soldier, Specialist Aaron David Robinson, via text message to deliver paperwork regarding a machine gun that needed to be serviced, according to court documents.

After Guillen’s disappearance, her Army ID, bank card and two sets of keys were found by investigators inside a workshop where she worked.

Khawam later said she was told Guillen and Robinson had an argument in the armory where they worked after she discovered his alleged affair with the estranged wife of a former soldier.

Later, as local police and federal marshals closed in on Robinson, he died by suicide.

Human remains were discovered near Fort Hood a few days ago, and an examination is underway into whether they belong to Vanessa Guillen.

Here’s how the story has unfolded:

April 22
Officials within Vanessa Guillen’s unit become aware she’s missing, according to court documents.

April 23
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command received notification from Guillen’s captain that she was last seen on the Fort Hood base.

April 28
A search of Guillen’s cellphone records, according to court documents, showed that one of the last persons she was in contact with was Aaron David Robinson.

CID investigators interviewed the 20-year-old Robinson, who told them that the day Guillen went missing he went to the off-post residence he shared with his girlfriend, Cecily Aguilar, according to court documents.

Robinson told investigators that he only left the house once, to go back to the base to log in on a computer to enroll in training, court documents show.

May 4
Vanessa’s older sister, 22-year-old Mayra, started an online fundraiser to cover the cost of a private investigator and an attorney.

“My sister DID NOT sign up to the ARMY to be held AGAINST her will. We need to find her and get justice,” Mayra Guillen wrote.

May 18
Investigators with CID talked to two witnesses who allegedly saw Robinson on April 22 leaving his work area with a large box that appeared “very heavy in weight,” and place that box in his car before driving away, according to court documents.

May 19
Robinson consented to a search of his cellphone records, which showed that on the day Guillen went missing that he made several calls to his girlfriend, Aguilar, throughout the day into the early morning hours of April 23, according to court documents.

June 3
The Guillen family created social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to call attention to Vanessa’s sexual assault allegation and disappearance.

“She was afraid to report it. She reported it to her friends. She reported it to her family. She even reported to other soldiers on base, but she didn’t want to do a formal report because she was afraid of retaliation and being blackballed, and she, like most victims, just tried to deal with it herself,” Lupe Guillen, 16, told ABC News on July 1.

Lupe Guillen said the hashtags #FindVanessaGuillen, #IamVanessaGuillen and #WeAreVanessaGuillen have become a sounding board for other military members who say they’ve been victims of sex-related crimes while on duty.

June 15
The CID and The League of United Latin American Citizens increased the reward for credible information leading to Vanessa Guillen’s whereabouts to $50,000 — $25,000 from each organization.

June 19
Aguilar is interviewed twice by investigators. After giving a false statement that Robinson was calling her phone repeatedly because she couldn’t find it, she told investigators that on the night of April 22, they took a “long drive” to Belton, Texas, to “look at the stars,” according to court document.

Robinson’s cellphone records corroborated Aguilar’s story and placed the pair along the Leon River, according to court documents.

June 21
Investigators began to search near the Leon River, more than 20 miles away from Fort Hood. Despite detecting an odor of decomposition, no remains were found, according to court documents.

June 23
Texas Rep. Sylvia Garcia and the Guillen family met with Fort Hood leadership, who told them they suspected foul play in Vanessa’s disappearance.

June 30
CID investigators interviewed Aguilar again, and she allegedly admitted that Robinson told her that he’d bludgeoned Guillen to death with a hammer, according to court documents.

Aguilar then told officials that Robinson placed Guillen’s body in a box, placed the box in his car and drove his car to a gas station where Aguilar worked. Robinson then drove Aguilar to the Leon River, where he opened the box to reveal Guillen’s body, court records show.

Aguilar told authorities the two of them then dismembered Guillen’s body using a “hatchet or machete type knife” and buried pieces of her body in three separate holes, according to court documents.

Investigators then found unidentified human remains about 20 miles away from the base, near the area investigators previously checked, according to court documents.

The discovery came on the same day Guillen’s family members announced they were seeking a congressional investigation into her disappearance.

“It is truly disappointing how Fort Hood Army Base, a military base, has not given answers to Vanessa’s family,” Khawam, the family’s attorney, wrote on Facebook.

July 1
Khawam announced at a press conference at the U.S. Capitol that a suspect tied to Guillen’s disappearance died by suicide, and that a second suspect, a woman, had been arrested.

At the time, neither Robinson nor Aguilar were identified.

The Guillen family and Khawam said the deceased male suspect was a superior officer who allegedly walked in on Vanessa as she was showering, sat down and watched her. Vanessa didn’t report the incident, her family said, because she feared reprisals.

Khawam announced at the press conference, attended by veterans including Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, that she’s planning to propose legislation to protect U.S. military soldiers from sexual harassment and sexual assault.

Gabbard said she knows “personally the strength of the chain of command. I also know and understand that fear Vanessa must have felt.”

“I have long advocated for real reforms … for them to report these incidents outside the chain of command,” Gabbard added.

July 2
Investigators with CID identified Robinson as the deceased suspect who had been accused of killing Vanessa Guillen on April 22.

Military officials said at a press conference that Robinson was not Guillen’s superior and that during their investigation they didn’t find evidence of sexual harassment to confirm her family’s accusations.

“And I am really sorry that I was not able to provide them the information sufficient to reduce their suffering,” Major Gen. Scott Efflandt, deputy commanding general of III Corps at Fort Hood, said at a news conference.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office Western District of Texas later identified Aguilar as Robinson’s alleged accomplice.

Aguilar, 22, was charged with one count of conspiracy to tamper with evidence for helping dispose of Vanessa Guillen’s body, authorities said.

Aguilar is expected in federal court in Waco, Texas, for arraignment on July 6. An attorney was not listed for her among online court records.

If convicted, she faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.

ABC News’ Abby Cruz contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

15-year-old girl shot at Massachusetts mall; 2 in custody

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carlballou /iStockBy Catherine Thorbecke, ABC News

(BRAINTREE, Ma) — A 15-year-old girl was injured in a shooting at the South Shore Plaza mall in Braintree, Massachusetts, officials said.

Braintree police said she suffered non-life threatening injuries, and two male suspects were taken into custody in relation to the shooting, which took place at about 4:45 p.m.

After initially saying they were responding to an “active shooter,” the Braintree Police Department said it now believes it was a targeted shooting.

Special agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives assisted Braintree police in the response to the scene.

The Braintree Police Department said via Twitter that the stores were put under lockdown. In a follow-up tweet, the agency said the suspect or suspects were “believed to have fled the mall on foot” and urged neighbors to shelter in place and report suspicious activity.

The shelter-in-place orders were lifted after the two suspects were taken into custody.

A witness inside the mall described the chaos to Boston ABC affiliate WCVB, saying he heard “six gunshots.”

“Everything was acting normal, day to day, I was on the upstairs location near Sears, as I was walking toward Sears, I was on the second level I saw people start going to the railing, looking down to the first floor and then we just heard six gunshots one after another, then it went silent,” he said. “I didn’t see any shooter or anything like that. And then it all became chaos, the mall, everybody trying to find an exit.”

Braintree is located about 25 minutes south of downtown Boston.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

For some Native Americans, Mount Rushmore is a symbol of broken treaties, white domination

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Bill Chizek / iStockBy Lauren Lantry, Stephanie Ebbs and Cheyenne Haslett, ABC News

President Donald Trump views his Friday trip to Mount Rushmore as celebrating America’s “heritage” on the July Fourth holiday weekend.

“We’re gonna have a tremendous evening,” Trump said Thursday. “It’s going to be a fireworks display like few people have seen. It’s going to be very exciting. It’s going to be beautiful.”

But many Native American leaders could not disagree more.

They have watched as, across the country, protests over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers grew into a broader demand to reexamine and tear down relics of the nation’s racial past.

For many Native Americans, the 79-year-old Mount Rushmore, with four white faces carved into the granite, is a symbol of similar oppression, especially offensive because it’s located in South Dakota’s Black Hills, which they regard with reverence.

“Nothing stands as a greater reminder to the Great Sioux Nation of a country that cannot keep a promise or treaty then the faces carved into our sacred land on what the United States called Mount Rushmore,” Chairman Harold Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe said in a statement. ”We are now being forced to witness the lashing of our land with pomp, arrogance and fire hoping our sacred lands will survive.”

While many Americans view Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln as great leaders, others are reminded of their controversial pasts.

Washington and Jefferson both owned slaves; Roosevelt promoted the country’s westward expansion, leading to the desecration of Native lands and peoples by white settlers.

According to the Associated Press, Roosevelt is even reported to have said, “I don’t go so far as to think that the only good Indians are dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every 10 are.”

And Lincoln, though celebrated for having led the emancipation of black slaves, approved the hanging of 38 Dakota Native American men, according to the Library of Congress. It was the largest government sanctioned mass execution in U.S. history.

Mount Rushmore historian Tom Griffith told the AP the sculptor of Mount Rushmore, Gutzon Borglum, was a member of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan. Though Griffith said Borglum’s allegiance to the Confederacy was more practical than ideological, his affiliations nonetheless stood for hatred and inequality.

The monument is also a reminder to Native Americans of the countless treaties broken by the U.S. government.

According to both the Lakota tribe and the United States Supreme Court, the Black Hills should never have been taken by the United States government.

In 1868, the Fort Laramie Treaty guaranteed a permanent “Great Sioux Reservation” to the Sioux tribe, which included the Black Hills. Under this agreement, “no treaty for the cession of any portion or part of the reservation” could be sold or traded unless 75% of “adult male Indians” agreed to the change.

But despite this treaty establishing the Black Hills as part of a reservation, white settlers began moving onto Lakota land searching for gold. Tribes in the area tried to fight them off, but they were also facing a threat of starvation as many of the bison herds in the area were destroyed.

In 1873, a group of Lakota men agreed to cede the Black Hills in exchange for the U.S. government providing food. That group of men made up just 10% of the male population of the tribe. But the U.S. government proceeded to take that land, and by 1941 the four presidents’ faces were carved into the mountainside.

After years of legal challenges, the Supreme Court in 1980 upheld the Indian Claims Commission’s ruling that the taking of the Black Hills was illegal under the Fifth Amendment, based on the fact that 75% of the tribe’s men had not consented to the agreement.

“A more ripe and rank case of dishonorable dealing will never, in all probability, be found in our history,” the majority opinion stated in United States v. Sioux Nation.

The Lakota tribe has been offered monetary settlements now worth about $1 billion, according to Jeff Ostler, a historian at the University of Oregon, but they refuse to accept it saying they will only accept the land back that was illegally taken from them.

Trump’s visit also comes at a moment when the nation faces a rising coronavirus cases.

“Now he’s hosting an over-the-top fireworks display in our sacred Black Hills, while he doles out retribution against our Tribal governments,” said Frazier of the Cheyenne River Sioux. “And for what? For doing what he failed to do—protecting people from a deadly virus.”

This event celebrating the nation’s 244th birthday also has raised alarm in some Native American tribes in South Dakota, concerned that the event will put tribal members needlessly at risk for spread of the coronavirus. Their fear only was heightened given the toll the virus has taken on the Navajo Nation where members experience high rates of underlying medical conditions making them more vulnerable and have limited access to hospitals, some 100 miles away.

“We are more than three hours from the nearest critical care facility,” said Julian Bear Runner, President of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, ahead of Trump’s visit. “To expose our people to the virus would be devastating. And for our more vulnerable members who have underlying medical conditions, COVID-19 is far more deadly.”

While there were originally plans for social distancing during the South Dakota event, those plans have been scrapped and the state is now expecting 7,500 people to attend the Mount Rushmore celebration. An additional 3,500 people will be allowed to watch the fireworks on screens from the exterior.

“We told those folks that have concerns that they stay can home,” GOP Gov. Kristi Noem said in an interview with Fox News on Monday night. “But those who want to come, join us. We will be giving out free face masks if they choose to wear one. We won’t be social distancing, we’re asking them to come, be ready to celebrate the freedoms and the liberties we have in this country.”

With large crowds expected, no social distancing and face coverings remaining optional – which goes against recommendations issued by the CDC, the Mount Rushmore event concerns Native American locals.

“Trump coming here is a safety concern not just for my people inside and outside the reservation, but for people in the Great Plains,” said Bear Runner in an interview with the Guardian. “We have such limited resources in Black Hills, and we’re already seeing infections rising.”

Just this week, the United States saw an increase in over 50,000 positive cases in just one day.

“In a time of crisis, where more than 127,299 Americans have died, the president is putting our Tribal members at risk to stage a photo-op at one of our most sacred sites,” Frazier said. “This is an administration that has not only mishandled the federal government’s response to the virus from the start, but has attempted to trample on our rights as a sovereign nation to conduct safety checks at our boundaries. We will not allow this administration or anyone to interfere with our right to take measures to protect our people.”

The pushback also comes on the heels of a lawsuit brought by the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe against the Trump administration, claiming the White House tried to stop the tribe from implementing checkpoints on federal roads near the reservation. According to the lawsuit, Frazier, the chairman of the tribe, received calls from Mark Meadows, Trump’s chief of staff, and Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of coronavirus task force. The tribe was told that if it didn’t let up on the checkpoints, their law enforcement program would be taken over by the federal government.

“You see what they’re doing at the state level in places like Washington state, New York and California to be proactive in slowing the spread,” said Rodney Bordeaux, President of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe, who supports the lawsuit. “Our tribal governments also have rights, and obligations to our people to protect them. Apparently, the administration wants to punish Tribes for that. We will not stand by and let that happen.”

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Coronavirus updates: Trump says increase of cases is 'great news'

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Samara Heisz/iStockBy WILLIAM MANSELL, ABC News

(NEW YORK) — A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 520,000 people worldwide.

Over 10.8 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 2.7 million diagnosed cases and at least 128,740 deaths.

Here’s how the news is developing Friday. All times Eastern:

11:10 a.m.: Florida reports 9,488 new COVID-19 cases

Florida reported an additional 9,488 COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of cases to 178,594.

The positivity rate was 14.8%, up .3% from Thursday, according to the state’s Department of Health.

Lee County reported the highest rate of positivity at 22.1.%, with Miami-Dade following behind at 20.8%.

10:50 a.m.: UK to lift quarantine for lower risk countries; US not among them

Travelers to the United Kingdom from a handful of countries will no longer have to quarantine for 14 days, the government announced.

The United States, however, is not among those countries.

Fifty-nine countries and territories are on the list, including Australia, France, Greece, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea and Spain.

Starting on July 10, anyone visiting the U.K. from those countries will not be required to self-isolate. The exemption may differ for those who have visited or stopped in any other country or territory 14 days prior.

Currently, all international travelers, with a few exceptions, are required to self-isolate for 14 days.

10:20 a.m.: Pakistani FM tests positive for COVID-19 a day after meeting with senior US officials

Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Pakistan’s foreign minister, has tested positive for COVID-19, he wrote on Twitter.

The news comes one day after Qureshi met with Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, the top U.S. diplomat brokering an end to the war in Afghanistan, and Adam Boehler, the head of the US government’s international finance development institution.

“By the grace of Allah, I feel strong and energetic,” Qureshi tweeted. “I will continue to carry on my duties from home. Please keep me in your prayers.”

8:57 a.m.: White House defends domestic trips as Secret Service agents test positive

The White House is defending its domestic trips after yet another incident of Secret Service agents getting sick as a result of those trips.

A senior official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said, “I hope it’s reflected that these trips have been an important way for the Task Force to get ground reports from states, provide states what they need when they need it, and to assure the American people that we’ll get through this together.”

While Vice President Mike Pence’s trips this week to two hot spots — Florida and Arizona — took on a coronavirus focus, they were originally slated to include campaign activities as well. The campaign events were postponed.

However, ABC News confirmed that Secret Service agents in Arizona who were preparing for a trip involving Pence tested positive for COVID-19 or showed signs of illness, which led to a postponement of the trip, according to a government official familiar with the matter.

The delay was needed for the Secret Service to bring in a new team of healthy agents in to Phoenix to complete the trip, according to the official.

7:50 a.m.: Face coverings required in Myrtle Beach ahead of holiday weekend

Anyone in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is now required to wear a mask or face covering, Mayor Brenda Bethune told ABC News’ Good Morning America.

The mandate comes ahead of what Bethune expected to be a crowded holiday weekend, with more than 100,000 tourists visiting.

Bethune said they should have enacted a mask order earlier, but didn’t have the authority until just last week. The order went into effect Thursday at 11:59 p.m. local time.

“I wish we could have done it sooner, we acted on it as quickly as possible,” Bethune said.

7:36 a.m.: Penn State student dies of COVID-19 complications

A student at Penn State University died of respiratory failure and COVID-19, according to a statement from the university.

Juan Garcia, a 21-year-old College of Earth and Mineral Sciences student from Allentown, died June 30, the university said.

He is the first known Penn State student death related to the coronavirus.

“We are profoundly saddened to learn about Juan’s untimely death during this pandemic,” vice president for Student Affairs Damon Sims said. “While I did not know Juan personally, we have learned through conversations with those closest to him that this young man had a remarkable spirit and was greatly loved. I know our entire campus community sends our deepest condolences to his family and friends as they grieve this unthinkable loss. It is a poignant reminder that no one among us is immune to the worst consequences of this virus.”

Garcia was living off campus when he began to feel ill, according to the university statement. He then traveled back home to Allentown on June 19 and was tested for COVID-19 on June 20.

He died 10 days later.

7:18 a.m.: ‘Great news’: Trump says of increase in number of COVID-19 cases

Even as Republican-led states roll back reopenings due to the significant rise in coronavirus cases and warnings from his own government that the pandemic is far from over, President Donald Trump continues to take an optimistic tone about the increase in diagnosed COVID-19 cases.

“There is a rise in Coronavirus cases because our testing is so massive and so good, far bigger and better than any other country,” Trump tweeted late Thursday night. “This is great news, but even better news is that death, and the death rate, is DOWN. Also, younger people, who get better much easier and faster!”

However, Adm. Brett Giroir, the man Trump appointed to oversee testing, testified at a House hearing Thursday that “this is a real increase in cases” and not just attributable to increased testing.

“There is no question that the more testing you get, the more you will uncover,” Giroir said Thursday. “But we do believe this is a real increase in cases because of the percent positives are going up. So, this is real increases in cases.”

Giroir said the U.S. is not flattening the curve right now.

“The curve is still going up,” he testified.

Trump’s positively also comes the same day the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its coronavirus death toll projections for July. Forecasts indicate that between 140,000 and 160,000 total deaths nationally are expected by July 25. The CDC forecast also suggests that the number of new deaths will increase in 11 states.

The U.S. reported 52,815 new coronavirus cases on Thursday. This week was the biggest week-over-week jump since the third week in March, when testing had just begun to increase in the United States.

5:55 a.m.: Arizona bar let COVID-19 positive workers continue working, officials say

The state of Arizona has seen an incredible rise in the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations recently, forcing the state to pause its reopening. And now one bar is under investigation after it allegedly allowed multiple employees known to have tested positive for the coronavirus to continue working.

Varsity Tavern, located in downtown Tempe, allegedly permitted both employees and managers to continue working after being diagnosed, according to the State of Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control.

After the state agency began its investigation, the business decided to close on July 1.

Officials are still seeking to revoke Varsity Tavern’s license. The establishment has had its license suspended twice before, once in December 2018 and again in July 2019.

The Department of Liquor also alleges that the bar management knowingly didn’t notify health officials that workers tested positive, didn’t enforce social distancing requirements and didn’t enforce mask-wearing requirements.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered bars, gyms, movie theaters, water parks and tubing operators, last Sunday to pause their operations until July 27 in a renewed effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

For the fifth day in a row, Arizona has surpassed its record number of hospitalizations on Thursday, with 2,938 patients currently hospitalized. At least 89% of ICU beds are now in use in the state.

There are more than 87,000 diagnosed cases of COVID-19 in Arizona, with at least 1,764 deaths.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

Oregon governor slams state troopers seen refusing to wear masks: 'Absolutely unacceptable'

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pinkomelet/iStockBy CATHERINE THORBECKE, ABC News

(SALEM, Ore.) — Oregon officials came out swinging at a group of state troopers caught on camera refusing to wear masks at a local coffee shop in Corvallis despite a statewide mandate.

Surveillance video shared with local outlet The Oregonian shows what appears to be four state troopers enter a coffee shop, all without face coverings, on July 1. All employees behind the counter can be seen wearing masks.

The store’s assistant manager told the local paper he informed the first trooper who arrived that masks were required, but the officer allegedly refused and went on to blast the governor’s mask mandate. The Oregonian reports that one unnamed trooper has been placed on administrative leave as a result of the incident, citing a statement from Oregon State Police spokesperson Timothy Fox. The agency did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a statewide mask mandate for all public indoor places on July 1 as part of an effort to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus as much of the U.S. is experiencing concerning new jumps in cases.

Oregon health officials reported a record number of new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

Brown responded to the incident involving the troopers directly after the surveillance video from the shop, Allan’s Coffee and Tea, went viral.

“It is inexcusable that a few Oregon State Troopers disregarded my face covering requirement yesterday, and ignored a request from a fellow Oregonian to follow the rule,” Brown said in a statement Thursday. “Oregon State Police Superintendent Hampton and I agree that their actions and behaviors were absolutely unacceptable.”

“Let me crystal clear: No one is above the law,” she added. “Superintendent Hampton and I expect the Oregon State Police to lead by example.”

Oregon State Police Superintendent Travis Hampton added in a separate statement that the police officer’s conduct is “embarrassing and indefensible, especially in the wake of thousands of Oregonians taking to the streets each day to rightfully demand police accountability.”

“Like any police misconduct, the actions of a few bring discredit to the scores of dedicated officers that do not believe they are above the law they are sworn to uphold,” Hampton added.

Hampton pledged that their conduct “is being immediately addressed” and personally apologized “to the coffee shop employees and the community.”

Allan’s Coffee Shop did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment Friday, but shared in a post on Twitter that they are “thankful for all of the support we have received from our community.”

 

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“This was definitely not something we could have anticipated,” the tweet added. “Our amazing team handled the conflict in a calm and professional manner, and we could not be more proud.”

The incident in Oregon highlights the struggle many local businesses have encountered while attempting to enforce government mandates on face coverings.

Despite the global health crisis raging and health officials urging the use of face masks to help stop the spread of COVID-19, wearing masks has become embroiled in a culture war of sorts in the U.S.

Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.

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