Security Guard Killed in Dispute Over Face Mask Policy in Michigan
Calvin Munerlyn, a guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, was killed after telling two customers to leave the store for refusing to follow a governor’s order to wear face coverings in public.
- By Haley Samsel
- May 06, 2020
A security guard in Flint, Michigan was killed in a dispute on Friday, May 1 after trying to enforce a face covering policy at a Family Dollar store, a county prosecutor said on Monday.
Calvin Munerlyn was shot and killed during an altercation with a woman, Sharmel Teague, who was told to leave the store because her daughter was not wearing a mask, NBC News reported. Three people are charged with first-degree premeditated murder and other firearms charges: Sharmel Teague, her husband Larry Teague, and her son Ramonyea Bishop.
After being told of the governor’s executive order requiring a face covering to stop spread of the coronavirus, Teague’s daughter left the store. But Teague stayed to argue with Munerlyn, who told her to leave and instructed a cashier not to serve her. She allegedly spit on him before leaving and returning with her husband and son, according to Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton.
An argument began, with Larrry Teague accusing Munerlyn of disrespecting his wife, and Bishop then shot Munerlyn in the head, Leyton said.
“From all indications, Mr. Munerlyn was simply doing his job in upholding the Governor’s Executive Order related to the COVID-19 pandemic for the safety of store employees and customers,” Leyton wrote in a statement.
Sharmel Teague was arraigned on charges on Tuesday, while her son and husband were still not in police custody as of Tuesday night. No information has been released about Teague’s daughter, who has not been charged. Parts of the crime were caught on security camera footage, which will surely be used as evidence in the case.
As the demand for security guards grows due to landlords wanting protection for closed buildings or to enforce policies like the face mask order, the killing in Michigan is concerning for many members of the security industry. Brian Carr, co-owner of Michigan Security, told ABC 12 News that private security guards can ask customers to leave if they are not following the mask measures.
“For the most part we just advise,” Carr told the news station. “There’s nothing that we can do to really enforce it. If somebody were an imminent threat or posting symptomatic, we would call our local sheriff’s department and have that person dealt with.”
A candlelight vigil for Munerlyn, a father of eight, was held on Sunday night. Bernadett Munerlyn, Calvin’s mother, told MLive.com that she wants justice for her son, who was killed over something that “wasn’t that serious.”
“All you people just have to do is listen to the law, listen to the governor,” she said. “Just stay home. If you don’t have to come out, then you wouldn’t need a mask unless you’re out getting groceries or necessities. All my baby was doing was his job working and doing his job.”
Leyton echoed that sentiment in his statement: “It’s important that the Governor’s order be respected and adhered to and for someone to lose their life over it is beyond comprehension.”
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.