When the doors opened early for Black Friday sales at a Wal-Mart store on Long Island, the frenzied shoppers stormed in, determined to be the first to grab the bargains before they were depleted. The maniacs trampled the unfortunate Wal-Mart worker whose job was to open the door. The shoppers continued to run in, ignoring the man on the ground. The New York Times described the scene:
The throng of Wal-Mart shoppers had been building all night, filling sidewalks and stretching across a vast parking lot at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. At 3:30 a.m., the Nassau County police had to be called in for crowd control, and an officer with a bullhorn pleaded for order…
By 4:55, with no police officers in sight, the crowd of more than 2,000 had become a rabble, and could be held back no longer. Fists banged and shoulders pressed on the sliding-glass double doors, which bowed in with the weight of the assault. Six to 10 workers inside tried to push back, but it was hopeless. Suddenly, witnesses and the police said, the doors shattered, and the shrieking mob surged through in a blind rush for holiday bargains.
At this point, Jdimytai Damour was trampled in the stampede and died, without shoppers stopping to help. When the police shut down the store, shoppers refused to leave.
Is shopping, while possibly saving a few dollars on a highly-publicized sale day, so important that it forces otherwise normal people to act like savages, literally killing each other to be first in line for the bargains? It sounds like this Wal-Mart location was inadequately protected with security appropriate for a mob scene, but it’s just a sale. This was not an angry mob, marching for a cause, ready to defend their movement to the death. Those who trampled this poor individual without any thought to his well-being should be arrested and charges with second degree manslaughter.
Published or updated November 29, 2008.