Youngstown Police Officer Who Lost Appeal in Mask Case Now Back in Jail

Officer (not so) Wise ner

YOUNGSTOW, Ohio (WKBN) — A city police officer who lost his appeal on a contempt of court charge for refusing to wear a mask is now back in the Mahoning County Jail. Thomas Wisener, 36, was booked into the jail Tuesday, according to jail records, to serve the remaining eight days of a 10-day jail sentence he was given by Judge Carla Baldwin in municipal court for his refusal to wear a mask during a court hearing.

The Honorable Judge Carla Baldwin

Wisener was held in contempt in March after he showed up to testify Feb. 23 as a witness before a visiting judge but he refused to wear a mask. At the time, the municipal court had a mask policy due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wisener said he did not wear a mask because of his religious beliefs. He spent two days in jail before being freed pending appeal. 

✱Wisener is suspended without pay while he does his jail time. He may return to work once he completes his sentence.

✱The cop had argued that “he cannot love God if he shows fear of the virus and that he is to emulate God by not lying but would be lying by complying with the mask mandate due to his belief that mask would not protect others.” 


An appeals judge found that Wisener was unable to provide substantial evidence that wearing a mask would have an adverse effect on the practice of his religion. 


No scripture and/or proselytizing

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