It’s approaching, Black Friday that is.
Like you, I barely remember two incidents – store keeper got trampled to death, and a woman pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers.
Well, let the fact speak for itself. Here is a copy/paste straight out of Wikipedia in recent years on this infamous day of the year.
In 2006, a man shopping at Best Buy was recorded on video assaulting another shopper. Unruly Walmart shoppers at a store outside Columbus, Ohio, quickly flooded in the doors at opening, pinning several employees against stacks of merchandise. Nine shoppers in a California mall were injured, including an elderly woman who had to be taken to the hospital, when the crowd rushed to grab gift certificates that had been released from the ceiling.
In 2008, a crowd of approximately 2,000 shoppers in Valley Stream, New York, waited outside for the 5:00 am opening of the local Wal-Mart. As opening time approached, the crowd grew anxious and when the doors were opened the crowd pushed forward, breaking the door down, and trampling a 34-year old employee to death. The shoppers did not appear concerned with the victim’s fate, expressing refusal to halt their stampede when other employees attempted to intervene and help the injured employee, complaining that they had been waiting in the cold and were not willing to wait any longer. Shoppers had begun assembling as early as 9:00 PM the evening before. Even when police arrived and attempted to render aid to the injured man, shoppers continued to pour in, shoving and pushing the officers as they made their way into the store. Several other people incurred minor injuries, including a pregnant woman who had to be taken to the hospital. The incident may be the first case of a death occurring during Black Friday sales; according to the National Retail Federation, “We are not aware of any other circumstances where a retail employee has died working on the day after Thanksgiving.”
During Black Friday 2010, a Madison, Wisconsin woman was arrested outside of a Toys ‘R’ Us store after cutting in line, and threatening to shoot other shoppers who tried to object. A Toys for Tots volunteer in Georgia was stabbed by a shoplifter. An Indianapolis woman was arrested after causing a disturbance by arguing with other Wal-Mart shoppers. She had been asked to leave the store, but refused. A man was arrested at a Florida Wal-Mart on drug and weapons charges after other shoppers waiting in line for the store to open noticed that he was carrying a handgun and reported the matter to police. He was discovered to also be carrying two knives and a pepper spray grenade. A man in Buffalo, New York, was trampled when doors opened at a Target store and unruly shoppers rushed in, in an episode reminiscent of the deadly 2008 Wal-Mart stampede.
On Black Friday 2011, a woman at a Porter Ranch, California Walmart used pepper spray on fellow shoppers, causing minor injuries to at least 10 people who had been waiting hours for Black Friday savings. It was later reported that the incident caused 20 injuries. The incident started as people waited in line for the newly discounted Xbox 360. A witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said she pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people in line. Another account stated: “The store had brought out a crate of discounted Xbox 360s, and a crowd had formed to wait for the unwrapping, when the woman began spraying people ‘in order to get an advantage,’ according to the police. In an incident outside a Walmart store in San Leandro, California, one man was wounded after being shot following Black Friday shopping at about 1:45 am.
Also stemming from Black Friday unruliness in 2011, 73-year old greeter Jan Sullivan was fired from a Tampa area Wal-Mart after she was shoved by a Black Friday shopper. Sullivan alleges that when she attempted to stop an unnamed woman from exiting through a door where exits were not being permitted, the woman pushed her. Sullivan claims that as she fell, she instinctively tried to grab onto the woman to keep from falling. Since Wal-Mart employees are not allowed to touch customers, Sullivan was then fired. The story has been a source of some controversy for Wal-Mart and garnered much community support for Sullivan, including media coverage and at least two Indiegogo fundraisers were launched to support her financially after the incident.
On Black Friday in 2013, a person in Las Vegas who was carrying a big-screen TV home from a Target store on Thanksgiving was shot in the leg as he tried to wrestle the item back from a robber who had just stolen it from him at gunpoint. In Romeoville IL, a police officer shot a suspected shoplifter driving a car that was dragging a fellow officer at a Kohl’s department store. The suspect and the dragged officer were treated for shoulder injuries. Three people were arrested.
At the Franklin Mills Mall in Philadelphia a fight was caught on camera in which a woman was taken to the ground. The video also caught a separate possibly related fight happening simultaneously. TO BE CONTINUED THIS YEAR AND THE NEXT. My advice: get some comprehension and collision coverage for your own body, not auto body protection, before Friday.