FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Protests Saturday against face mask policies closed a north Fresno grocery store and led to a trespassing arrest, according to Fresno Police.
Around 1:50 p.m., a group of protestors stood in the front of the Sprouts Farmers Market on the southwest corner of Blackstone and Alluvial avenues protesting the requirement that shoppers entering the store must wear a face covering, said Lt. Charlie Chamalbide. The group had gone to other stores where they were allowed to enter, shop and hand out literature, but Sprouts decided to close.
Police reported that they are not enforcing California’s mask mandate but instead enforcing laws against trespassing.
Sprout’s policy is to first give you a verbal warning if you don’t follow the mask requirement and choose not to leave. Then a letter warning of arrest for trespassing is given if you do not leave.
Chamalbide said if that person does not leave after the letter, the store can place them under citizen’s arrest for trespassing, which is accepted by police.
One person was arrested for entering the store and trespassing, Police said. He was being processed before being released.
The rest of the group decided not to enter Sprouts and police have allowed them to protest in front of the store if they do not block the entrance.