OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A group of about 35 people gathered outside a grocery store in southwest Omaha Saturday to protest against the city's mask mandate.

The group originally planned to stage a mask-less shopping trip at the Hy-Vee grocery store but the event turned into an outdoor march after the grocer worked with Omaha police to keep the protest out of the store. Omaha police said they would have officers at the store who would ticket people who tried to violate the city’s indoor mask requirement.

Allie French said the group modified its plan after the backlash against it. French and other protesters gathered in front of the grocery store Saturday with signs and flags. Two police cars were parked among the group, and multiple officers stood at the entrance of the Hy-Vee along with several employees.

Grace Willett attended the protest with her husband and 2-year-old daughter to take a stand for individual freedom.

“It’s about standing up for our medical freedom to choose whether or not we wear a mask,” Grace Willett said. “I’m fine with other people wearing a mask if they want to, but I think that we should all have the choice.”

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