VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A man who was wrongfully detained at a mall in Virginia Beach has tested positive for the coronavirus.
It is unclear where the man was exposed and how long he has had the virus.
Jamar Mackey was the innocent man seen in a viral video being handcuffed and detained by police inside Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday, Dec. 19.
The video posted on Facebook by Mackey’s fiancée, Shantel Covil, shows Mackey being handcuffed while he was eating at the mall food court with his family.
Once outside the mall, the officer took the handcuffs off Mackey, acknowledging they had the wrong person.
The officer then told the couple that Mackey matched the description of a suspect they were investigating for a report of a stolen purse and use of stolen credit cards. That description was a Black man with dreadlocks wearing all black and with a child.
10 On Your Side’s Regina Mobley recently got in touch with Covil about her fiance testing positive for the coronavirus.
Covil stated that Mackey took the test on Dec. 22, three days after the incident, out of concern for his health. The officer in the video was not wearing a mask.
Covil said they believe they were exposed during the incident at the mall, although it’s not confirmed.
“I’m very angry that they put my family at risk. Me and Jamar, that’s one thing but our kids, that’s what upsets me the most,” Covil said.
Covil said Mackey’s positive result came back positive on Christmas Eve.
Covil told 10 On Your Side that her fiancé is currently “in quarantine at his home with mild symptoms including a low grade fever, a cough, and a sore throat.”
Although Covil herself tested negative, they said that they are monitoring their teen son and 8-week-old infant.
“Just talking about it, it makes me upset because I have an infant. And when he got his results, he cried because — I’m sorry Jamar, we sleep with our infant every night — I’m so sorry… He’s around the baby all the time, so you know infants can get COVID, so that’s the first thing we thought about,” she said.
10 On Your Side reached out to Virginia Beach police and a spokeswoman said that due to HIPAA regulations, they could not comment on the situation.
“They arrested him, of course, no gloves, no masks. They took us out of our bubble, out of our safe space,” said Covil. “We are around each other all the time.”
As of Dec. 29, the video had over 39,000 interactions and over 1,500 comments on social media.
Two days after the incident, Virginia Beach Police Chief Paul Neudigate held a press conference to address the viral video.
He said police would address the officer’s lack of a face mask, but didn’t specify how.
“It will be addressed,” Neudigate said at the time. “We are required to wear masks. We set the standard, we set an example for our community.”
The police chief apologized during the press conference and said the department would be doing an internal review, looking at case law to determine if the officer’s actions were justified in the detainment of Mackey.
That same day, Virginia Beach police confirmed they had arrested a different person in connection with the investigation into the stolen purse and credit cards.
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