WATCH: Grand Forks man challenges police officer about new city mask mandate and wins, citing religion and health concerns

After about an 8-minute conversation with a Grand Forks police officer, David Waterman was allowed into the city council meeting.

WATCH: Grand Forks man challenges police about new city mask mandate, wins citing religious, health reasons

GRAND FORKS, N.D. — Grand Forks' mask mandate was put to the test at City Hall Monday night, Nov. 2.

Anti-mask supporter David Waterman proved the mandates put in by Mayor Brandon Bochenski and the city council have very little weight.

The mandates regarding city buildings and mask-use around the city do not have any penalties attached.


The citywide mandate was originally proposed with a penalty, but was ultimately shot down.

After a one-hour protest outside of city hall that was attended by two dozen people, including children, was organized by Waterman, he attempted to enter city hall for the city council meeting.

However, a Grand Forks police officer told him he had to wear a mask.

Waterman refused, citing religious and unspecified health concerns.

The Grand Forks police officer called his supervisor and ultimately allowed Waterman, along with his wife and another protestor, to enter city hall without a mask.

His wife and the protestor were not challenged by police.

During the meeting, city health officer Debbie Swanson told the mayor and city councilors more mitigation with penalties attached are needed to slow what she called a crisis. Nearly 700 new cases have been reported since Friday alone.

Matt Henson is an Emmy award-winning reporter/photographer/editor for WDAY. Prior to joining WDAY in 2019, Matt was the main anchor at WDAZ in Grand Forks for four years. He was born and raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia and attended college at Lyndon State College in northern Vermont, where he was recognized twice nationally, including first place, by the National Academy for Arts and Science for television production. Matt enjoys being a voice for the little guy. He focuses on crimes and courts and investigative stories. Just as often, he shares tear-jerking stories and stories of accomplishment. Matt enjoys traveling to small towns across North Dakota and Minnesota to share their stories. He can be reached at and at 610-639-9215. When he's not at work (rare) Matt resides in Moorhead and enjoys spending time with his daughter, golfing and attending Bison and Sioux games.
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