Hayward cops not wearing masks during arrest

Cell-phone video shows Hayward police arresting a parolee for burglary while not wearing masks.

It happened outside a liquor store at Mission Boulevard and Industrial Parkway on Thursday afternoon.

"This is ridiculous. It is not OK," said Heather Sweat, the mother of the man being arrested. 

Sweat said she doesn't understand why the officers weren't wearing masks

"You did not do the very basic thing of - and it's not just giving me a cold - you can kill me with one breath," she told KTVU.

Sweat says she has no problems with her 25-year-old son being taken into custody but that the officers put everybody, including themselves, at risk.

"Whatever he did was separate from what they did," Sweat said.

Sweat said her son also wasn't allowed to put on the mask around his chin.

She says she complained to police and that a sergeant told her that officers had to go after him into the liquor store after they pulled him over.

"He basically told me that it was all my son's fault why they had to go out and get him, it doesn't matter whether they're wearing masks or not. And I'm like, 'Wait, no that's not right," Sweat said.

Officer Michael Wright, a Hayward police spokesman said, "We're looking into the circumstances of it."

Wright said it may be challenging at times for officers to wear masks during certain in-progress calls.

"We don't have the luxury of being able to put on a mask right away, even sometimes we see something, we react to it, we don't have the ability to put on a mask," Wright said.

But in body-cam footage provided to KTVU back in July, Hayward police weren't wearing masks while detaining a homeless man with a knife, after they spent some time de-escalating the situation.

Hayward police say just like anyone else who forgets to do something, the department reminds officers to wear masks, especially indoors. The department says officers who repeatedly fail to wear masks could potentially face a reprimand.