It seems that every year for about the past eight years or so we hear about some form of shopping violence taking place on Black Friday. Remember the time a man was trampled to death? What has happened to our society when an Xbox 360, or any commodity, causes people to physically harm others in hopes of getting an item or getting it on sale? It’s just a game people. It’s not like there is a food or water shortage – where you might understand people acting desperately or irrationally.
I saw stories where people were staked out in store parking lots in tents days before Black Friday. This big shopping day of the year has truly gotten out of hand. Most often, there are no real deals to be had. Marketers and advertisers draw people in with a carrot and know that once the shopper is in the store, they will buy other items that are not on sale.
Los Angeles police are still deciding whether to pursue charges against a woman who allegedly used pepper spray while shopping at a Walmart Thanksgiving night in Porter Ranch, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.
The woman turned herself in Friday night after the incident allegedly caused minor injuries to other shoppers, including children. Reports range from stating that anywhere from 10-15 people were injured. NBC News reported police said no more than 15 were hurt, 10 of them from the effects of inhalation of pepper spray.
The woman was released pending further investigation after she refused to discuss the incident, police said Saturday. Her identity has not been released.
A witness told Los Angeles’ NBC4 that the incident started as people waited in line for the new Xbox 360. NBC News quoted a police officer as saying the flare-up was triggered when a crowd rushed toward merchandise following a “big reveal” of items that had been hidden by draping.
The witness said a woman with two children in tow became upset with the way people were pushing in line. The witness said the woman pulled out pepper spray and sprayed the other people.
The dispute came as stores opened their doors at midnight — a few hours earlier than they normally do on the most anticipated shopping day of the year.
One section of the store was cleared while patients were treated and the pepper spray dissipated, Parga said. People were seen pouring out of the store, but customers were allowed back in to continue shopping.
Wow, I guess that episode didn’t stop some of those die hard shoppers from going back into the store. Risking my safety or the safety of my children, if I had any, would never be worth it. Every year, I avoid Black Friday like the plague.