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Wrongfully Detained Black Man Tested Positive For COVID-19 After Contact With Unmasked Officer

It’s embarrassing to say that it’s not uncommon for Black men to be wrongfully arrested in America. There are times where the mistake can be corrected without any issue, but the majority of the time the situation ends in injury or fatality. The latter is unfortunately true for Virginia resident Jamar Mackey. After being wrongfully detained by unmasked officers in Virginia Beach, Mackey has tested positive for COVID-19 and is now suffering from mild symptoms.


Mackey was trying to enjoy a meal with his family in the Lynnhaven Mall on December 19th when he was handcuffed by police. Mackeys fiancé, Shantel Covil, caught the whole interaction on video which she posted to Facebook.


In the viral video you can see Mackey questioning the detainment while his fiancé tries to keep him calm. The detaining officer explains that Mackey matches the description of Black man with the same hairstyle who was suspected of using stolen credit cards. After some time it’s clear the police identified the wrong man and Mack was released. At the time of his detainment, Mackey had his masked lowered because he was eating while the detaining officer didn’t have a visible mask on at all. Following the ordeal, Mackey took a COVID-19 test on December 22nd and received a positive test result two days later.



With a newborn and a teenage son in the home, both Mackey and Covil are watching the children closely for symptoms. Mackey has had a “low grade fever, cough, and sore throat”. The family believes that the detainment is what caused the exposure. “They arrested him, of course, no gloves, no masks….they took us out of our bubble, out of our safe space.” said Covil.


The Virginia Beach Police Department addressed the incident in a statement and press conference that took place December 21st and the Police Chief, Paul Newdigate stated that an investigation is underway.



Mackey is speaking with his lawyer about possibly suing the Virginia Beach Police Department; and while an apology was made during the press conference, he was never contacted directly by the department.



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