Oregon State Police don’t wear coronavirus masks while patronizing coffee shop

A group of Oregon State Police troopers appeared to defy Gov. Kate Brown’s statewide mask order while in uniform Wednesday, entering a Corvallis coffee shop without wearing required face coverings, video obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive shows.

The store’s assistant manager, Travis Boss, said he told the first trooper who arrived that the trooper needed to wear a mask.

“Governor Brown has no authority to take our civil liberties. We aren’t going to wear masks,” the trooper allegedly said, according to a written statement from Boss provided to the newsroom.

The trooper proceeded to place his order, Boss said in an interview, offering a foul-mouthed retort to the governor’s mandate that masks be worn within indoor public spaces.

“He said, ‘F--- Kate Brown,’” Boss recalled.

The trooper’s alleged comments came on the same day that Brown’s statewide mask order went into effect, and just hours before Brown implored Oregonians to wear facial coverings as a “simple, common sense way to protect yourself and others” during the coronavirus pandemic.

Three other law enforcement officers entered the business moments later and also refused a request to wear masks, Boss said. Boss said he felt compelled to fulfill their drink orders because they were in uniform, even though he said he had sent other patrons away earlier for not wearing masks.

The incident represents an extraordinary example of the difficult position that some businesses say Brown’s order has put them in as they work to enforce the potentially divisive rule. Workers in shops across Oregon have been left to impose the mask mandate with the knowledge that some customers may disobey or, as videos across the country have shown, create made-for-internet spectacles.

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