A new video shows the anti-mask crowd going to extraordinary new lengths to prevent people from fighting the pandemic. They’re now posing as agents of the federal government and threatening essential workers with legal action for enforcing mask rules.
The bizarre video, which shows two women posing as agents of the federal Freedom To Breathe Agency (yes, really) has gone mega-viral since being posted to TikTok.
@wittlelizzyThis is what it’s like to be an essential worker. ##essentialworker ##covid19 ##karen ##helpme ##foryou♬ original sound – wittlelizzy
The video was captured in a health food store in Orange County, California by a friend of the employee being harassed, Liz Chavez.
In it, two women, one of whom is the FTBA’s founder Lenka Koloma, are seen wearing badges bearing the FTBA name that includes the US Department of Justice’s eagle logo
After introducing the organization, Koloma tells Chavez she is in legal jeopardy for enforcing the mask rules.
“…you personally can be sued for this, OK?”
“You are putting yourself into a major legal liability—you personally.”
Chavez spoke with BuzzFeed News about the bizarre encounter. She said that the information handed to her by Koloma and her colleague made grave legal threats.
“The piece of paper they gave me was basically telling me I could go to prison for up to three to five years and I could get fined up to $10,000 for telling them to wear a mask if I’m not a doctor.”
Chavez also said it was clear from the outset the women were up to something.
“They weren’t there to shop. They honestly were probably just waiting for somebody to come up to them and ask them to wear a mask so they could do this.”
Koloma can also be heard telling Chavez that FTBA is a “We The People organization.”
The We The People Foundation is a right-wing activism group that was one of the leaders of the “birther movement” that sought to prove Barack Obama was not a natural-born citizen of the United States.
It is unknown if FTBA is actually affiliated with the Foundation, but the Department of Justice has made clear that the FTBA is not affiliated with them, and issued the FTBA a warning in June.
On Twitter, people were shocked by Koloma and her colleague’s audacity.
Arrest that woman for fraud.
— Patricia Arquette (@PattyArquette) August 8, 2020
Impersonating a Federal agent in any form is a crime. Contact local police.
— 🌊 Patriotic Moose&Lamb 🌊 (@GinoKusa) August 7, 2020
wow new levels of horrible at every glance
— Rebecca Rose (@rrrbrose) August 7, 2020
Is this not impersonating a federal officer? Isn’t this illegal?
— Cam (@mackeyyyyy4) August 8, 2020
I see we have gotten to the "falsely impersonating a federal officer or employee" stage of anti-mask absurdity.
This lady could be facing up to 3 years in federal prison over this stunt, and she absolutely should.
— Real Centrists are Anti-Cop (@AntifaCentrist) August 7, 2020
And, of course, given how ridiculous this all is, (“Freedom To Breathe Agency”? Really?) many people couldn’t help but laugh.
Working for a federal agency dressed like that 😂😂😂
— Silfy ⭐️ (@Silfy_Star) August 7, 2020
same energy pic.twitter.com/7f7VhhqyLV
— Vincent *INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT* Rivas-Flores (@vincentrivasfl) August 7, 2020
Pretty sure the Freedom to Breathe Agency works along side the Female Body Inspectors and Captain Caveman
— theblacktights (@theblacktights) August 7, 2020
— Cleavon MD (@Cleavon_MD) August 7, 2020
She does have a clipboard, so I’m rethinking my stance here. https://t.co/oDtXKAoX4H
— Josh Mankiewicz (@JoshMankiewicz) August 10, 2020
For her part, Koloma insists FTBA is on the up and up and she is not impersonating a federal agency.
“That’s absolutely false because we are a legitimate organization, we introduced ourselves as FTBA, the Freedom to Breathe Agency.”
“There’s nothing illegal or fraudulent.”
Both FTBA’s website and Facebook page have been taken down. FTBA now operates as a private Facebook group.