People can still be arrested for failing to wear masks in Texas businesses, despite Governor Greg Abbott revoking his statewide mask order, which will be lifted Wednesday.
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo, who delivered a strong message to Texans who refuse to adhere to private company guidelines for wearing masks, said that property rights of companies in the Lone Star State give them the tools to keep the peace.
"Our officials are very familiar with the law. There is such a thing as 'criminal offense' here in Texas. If a company orders a person to wear the mask and they refuse to leave, they can be arrested for a criminal offense." "said Acevedo.
The boss said they could also issue someone with a criminal offense warning that would prohibit them from entering the establishment for at least a year.
In an interview Tuesday evening on CNBC's "The News with Shepard Smith," Acevedo said that companies in Texas have property rights and some will choose to "follow science and demand masks," regardless of the nationwide mask order expiration date on Jan. March.
The Chief Medical Officer of the White House, Dr. Anthony Fauci said he believed people would have to continue wearing face masks through 2022. Acevedo said its officials will be wearing masks well after March 10.
"They must continue to wear masks to protect themselves and the public they come into contact with, and they will continue to do so until we all get our vaccines, not just from law enforcement agencies, but hopefully across the country by May, "said Acevedo.
In February, a Louisiana police officer was killed in an argument over the wearing of masks. Some Texas companies are already facing a backlash by saying they will obey mask rules. The boss told host Shepard Smith that he understood that masks are a sensitive issue, but that his top priority is keeping Texans safe.
"I would urge Texans, or anyone dealing with this, to just move your business elsewhere. But don't get arrested or get into trouble by trying to cause a riot … but exactly that's what we do. If the play is called up in law enforcement, we'll do our best to play it to the best of our ability, "said Acevedo.