MARSHALL, Minn. – A man and woman sparked a viral confrontation in a Minnesota Walmart when they entered the store wearing swastika masks on Saturday.
The pair were confronted by offended shoppers and recorded by Raphaela Mueller and Benjamin Ruesch, who also confronted them over the Nazi symbols. In the video the woman raises both middle fingers at Mueller, Ruesch and another customer while arguing with them.
WARNING: The following video contains offensive language and images.
Walmart confirmed that the incident happened at its store in Marshall, Minnesota, and called the incident “unacceptable” in a statement to the Washington Post.
“We strive to provide a safe and comfortable shopping environment for all our customers and will not tolerate any form of discrimination or harassment in any aspect of our business,” the statement said. “We are asking everyone to wear face coverings when they enter our stores for their safety and the safety of others and it’s unfortunate that some individuals have taken this pandemic as an opportunity to create a distressing situation for customers and associates in our store.”
According to Marshall Police Sgt. Jason Buysse, his department issued a notice of trespass to the two shoppers. The pair were only identified as being 59 and 64 years old, according to the Washington Post.
The two left the store without incident, according to Buysse.
Walmart says the trespass notices issued to the couple prevent them from visiting any Walmart facility for at least one year.
Saturday was the first day of Minnesota’s mask mandate, which requires face coverings to be worn in businesses and indoor public spaces. The mandate came more than a week after Walmart and other retailers announced masks would be mandatory in all U.S. stores.
The Washington Post reports there have been at least 20 reports of anti-Semitic incidents nationwide this month, according to the Anti-Defamation League’s online tracker. Swastikas have appeared in a majority of those cases.