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Man wrongfully detained by police at Lynnhaven Mall tests positive for COVID-19

This comes after Jamar Mackey was wrongfully handcuffed by a police officer who was not wearing a mask.
Credit: Kiara Love

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Jamar Mackey, a man who was wrongfully detained by a police officer at Lynnhaven Mall on December 21, said he's tested positive for COVID-19 and is "quarantining with mild symptoms."

This comes after Mackey was handcuffed by a police officer who was not wearing a mask.

That day, police were investigating a credit card theft at the mall, and handcuffed Mackey in front of his fiancee and two children. The department later apologized for detaining the wrong person.

On Dec. 29, Mackey said his family had also gotten tested for COVID-19. We don't know the results of their tests.

The Virginia Beach Police Department spokesperson could not say if the officer involved in the incident had COVID-19 or not, due to health privacy laws.

In the Dec. 21 press conference about Mackey's wrongful detention, Chief Paul Neudigate recognized that the officer in question was not following the department's mask requirements, and said the issue was being addressed.

They have not said how the department plans to address the break of policy.

Explaining his side of the story on Dec. 22, Mackey told 13News Now the incident rattled him.

“It’s just disturbing, honestly, just to even think about it again. I keep reliving it,” he said. “We were just sitting down and enjoying the holidays, trying to get some lunch with my family, and next thing I know I’m in handcuffs.”

The incident spurred a brief Black Lives Matter demonstration at the mall, and has sparked conversation about possible "systemic" problems within the police department.