Black Friday Bloodshed

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Doing some Black Friday shopping? Make sure you get your caffeine, have plenty of cash and checks on hand, and program your doctor’s office on your speed dial. As the day and the deals have gotten more hyped up over the past several years, stampedes and fights have broken out in the frenzy, resulting in injuries and even death. Here are a few of those incidents.

Death at Walmart

walmartJust last year, a “greeter” at Walmart in Valley Stream, New York, was killed when the crowd of 2,000+ people trampled over him when the doors opened on Black Friday. Jdimytai Damour was 6’4” and 270 pounds and was trying to hold back shoppers who were pressed up against the sliding glass doors. The doors shattered from the pressure, Damour was thrown to the floor, and shoppers rushed over him in a craze to get to their bargains. The official ruling was that he died of asphyxiation. Although other shoppers were injured in the stampede, Damour was the only fatality - the other four injured people were treated and released from the hospital, including a woman who was eight months pregnant. There were reports that she had miscarried, but they were false. Damour's family has filed a lawsuit against Walmart, citing that the company "engaged in specific marketing and advertising techniques to specifically attract a large crowd and create an environment of frenzy and mayhem and was otherwise careless, reckless and negligent." Photo from FoxNews.com.

No Cutting in Line

In 2005, it wasn’t a stampede to get to items that caused trouble at Walmart - it was a single line-cutter. People were waiting in an orderly line at an Orlando store to get a heavily discounted computer when one man jumped ahead in the line. The assembled crowd wasn’t really appreciative of this - they ended up wrestling him to the ground.

Gang Shootout at Toys "R" Us

toysrusLast year was definitely a bad year for Black Friday shoppers. On the same day, but a different coast, two men were shot and killed after an argument at a Toys "R" Us in Palm Desert, California. The women they were with were arguing - even coming to blows, according to the Huffington Post - and the fight escalated when the men discovered that they belonged to rival gangs. They ended up shooting only each other - no other injuries were reported. Photo from LAist.com.

Disabled for Deals

Another computer was the source of a riot at the same retailer in 2005. When a laptop went on sale for $100 off the normal price, Cecelia Brannon of Jacksonville, Fla., was second in line because she wanted to get one for her daughter in college. When the doors opened, she got pushed under the rushing crowd and ended up suffering from a concussion and continuing back and neck problems. “This is America’s version of the running of the bulls,” her husband said. As of 2007, Cecelia was still walking with a cane as a result of her Black Friday injuries and still had to take a slew of prescription medications. “I saved 100 on that computer,” she said. “I’ve spent probably $100,000 on medical bills.” P.S. – I didn’t intend to hate on Walmart, but a vast majority of the Black Friday incidents happened there! If you’re headed to score some deals tomorrow, be extra careful. What’s your opinion – should the onus be on the retailer for not providing enough security, or should people be responsible for their own actions?


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spent about 4 hours at the wal-mart in douglasville georgia in order to purchase a rockband for $50 for my son for christmas this year. long story short, the "new and safer" way that wal-mart set things up this year caused a huge explosion as the shoppers launched themselves onto the sale items ten minutes before the sale was to start at 5 a.m. i was slammed into the freezer section, my sister ended up with two broken fingers and my boyfriend has bruises and scratches all up and down his sides from the man who physically attacked him to take the rockband from his hands. i just don't get it. it's christmas, for God's sake. it's for the children. where has the decency of humanity gone?
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@Seanette

The amount of people that go to Wal-Mart for the sake of convenience is very small compared to the bulk of people that go there. Convenience is the only reason that I would go there, like late at night when I wanted to buy a USB recharger for my Nintendo DS, or another night when I needed to pick up some AAA batteries. As for cost of merchandise, these people aren’t really saving on the crap they are buying, it's just they have bought into the belief that they are. They are paying cheap shopping mall prices for overpriced dollar store items. Most people don’t want to look for deals; they just want to be told where they can get them no matter what budget they are on.
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Wow, Nicholas, that smugly elitist attitude toward people who don't feel the need to pay twice as much for the exact same item (or cannot afford to) or find that WalMart is about all that's open at times that fit their WORK schedules must get you SO much "romance".
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The whole Wal-Mart scene is deplorable. I've been in a Wal-Mart only twice in my life, and couldn't help but notice that a.) items were not organized in a way that made it possible to find anything on purpose, and b.) the items one could find were of average to poor quality, and were not anything that could not be found elsewhere for less, and with greater ease. Being on a limited budget, my purchases are restricted, and I would not waste my time or money shopping at Wal-Mart. And I hate to generalize, but the clientele there was buying up shopping-carts-ful of junk food and the like, with kids running out-of-control, lots of shouting across the store and profanity. I'm sorry, but I find that all very unpleasant. Also, I teach, and I've noticed a direct correlation between people who think Wal-Mart is cool and people who wind up in detention or getting suspended for severe behavioral problems. I was not at all surprised to read of the greeter who was trampled.
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